Barcelona's chances of landing Philippe Coutinho in January are almost non-existent unless they can reduce a crippling wage bill that currently runs at an estimated 84 per cent of their budget.

Although the club are in a position to bid €120m this January they are trying to sell up to five players to accommodate the Brazilian's salary.

Chief executive Oscar Grau announced earlier this month that the club were 'prepared' to sign Coutinho in January.

He had reason to be positive because he had just announced record revenue for the 2016-17 season of €708m, enabling him to put a record €897m budget for the 2017-18 season before the club's members.

But behind the impressive revenue figures lies the wage problem that many important commentators close to the club believe is currently hampering activity in the transfer market.