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Philippe Coutinho..

The clever reason Philippe Coutinho is applying for a Portuguese passport

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The dust has settled on the Phillippe Coutinho saga and the man himself is enjoying a solid start to life in Barcelona.

The 25-year-old is now six games deep into his career with Blaugrana and looks set to form a lethal attacking quartet with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. It's not difficult to see why they're seven points clear in La Liga, huh?

Coutinho is under no illusion over the talent he's playing alongside, either, and said of Messi: "It's something very special [to play with Messi]. Not everyone has the opportunity to play with the best player in the world. This makes me very happy."

Furthermore, he bagged his first goal for the club last week against Valencia in a throwback to his Liverpool days with Suarez providing the assist.

If Coutinho can make the transition from Merseyside to Catalunya with half the success of Suarez, he'll be quite the asset to Barcelona going forward.

Philippe Coutinho following in Luis Suarez's footsteps

And the Brazilian is continuing to follow in the footsteps of his old teammate but, this time, for rather bizarre reasons.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Coutinho is applying for a Portuguese passport since his move to Iberia and stated in an interview with the publication: “Yes, I can get citizenship through my wife."

His wife, Aine, is Portuguese and after three years of marriage together, Coutinho is able to follow suit.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-AWARD

The move will see him replicate the decision of Suarez who gained Italian citizenship after his transfer in 2014 thanks to his own spouse's nationality.

What's the point, though? Well, it's a move by Barcelona that's both incredibly clever and rather sneaky.

Barcelona's pursuit of Brazilian talent Arthur Melo

If Coutinho became a Portuguese national, it would open up a free non-EU space in the Barcelona squad which would revive their chase for Brazilian talent Arthur Melo, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea.

With Paulinho and Yerry Mina occupying the other spaces, Coutinho's diplomatic work is imperative for the chase of the 21-year-old who could join as early as the summer.

Gremio v Fluminense - Brasileirao Series A 2017

Of course, it doesn't mean Coutinho will suddenly be playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, as brilliantly hilarious as that circumstance would be, but it goes to show the Brazilian will go far to help his new team.

And if Melo lives up to all the hype, the passport swapping will be worth ever sheet of paperwork.

Do you think Philippe Coutinho will succeed at Barcelona? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Topics:
Brazil Football
Philippe Coutinho
La Liga
Football

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