Philippe Coutinho faces FIVE MONTHS out with knee injury that could see Liverpool miss out on £18m in transfer add-ons

PHILIPPE COUTINHO is set to miss FIVE MONTHS of football with his knee injury – and it's bad news for Barcelona and Liverpool.

The Brazilian star, 28, suffered a tear to his meniscus after coming off the bench during Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Eibar.

Coutinho will now be forced to undergo surgery to fix his knee.

But it's not just bad news for Barcelona, but for former club Liverpool, too.

The Reds sold Coutinho to the LaLiga giants in January 2018 for a staggering £145million fee.

Barcelona paid Liverpool £109m up front, with the remaining £36m to be paid in various instalments.

One of the biggest transfer add-ons involved Coutinho's game-time at the Nou Camp.

After the Brazilian makes his 100th appearance for Barcelona, the Spanish side will have to pay Liverpool £18m.

The Reds were dealt a blow after Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on loan last season, before the star was rumoured to have quit the club in the summer.

But having stayed put, Coutinho was edging towards the magic 100 games mark and now sits on 90.

With just ten games to go to trigger the £18m payment, the midfielder's career at Barca could now be over.

Coutinho is widely expected to leave the club in the summer and a five-month lay-off could see him out of action until late-May, early-June.

It's therefore incredibly unlikely the former Inter Milan star reaches the 100-game milestone for Barcelona.

And that means Liverpool will likely miss out on an £18m payout.

However, it is possible the Reds only lose out on £4.5m, with some reports in Spain suggesting Barca have been paying £4.5m per 25 games.

That would mean the Anfield side had raked in £13.5m in appearance fees already, with just one more £4.5m payment to come after reaching 100 games.

Liverpool have already pocketed £9m in add-ons after Barcelona qualified for the Champions League in 2018-19 and 2019-20, worth £4.5m apiece.

However, they missed out on a further £9m after Barca failed to win the tournament in either season – also worth £4.5m each.

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