Lazio midfielder Lucas Leiva could be key in the talks for Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho.
As reported by Italian newspaper Il Messaggero (via LazioNews24) earlier today, the Biancocelesti are interested in signing the 29-year-old Brazilian forward on a loan deal this month, but it will not be easy to iron out a deal for the player.
One aspect that could help Lazio is midfielder Lucas Leiva and his relationship with Coutinho. The pair are friends, developing a strong relationship during their time together in the Premier League with Liverpool.
Coutinho has been proposed by his agent Kia Joobrachian to Lazio sporting director Igli Tare, but the biggest obstacle are his wages. The Brazilian forward earns €10 million per season, far too expensive for the Biancocelesti.
Barcelona do not want Coutinho anymore and are willing to sell him on a loan deal with around a €20 million buy option attached, but talks would only develop further should the 29-year-old be willing to lower his wages.
Two things could help solve this – the first being Barcelona being willing to pay some of his wages, and the second is how the club could use the Growth Decree to only pay half of his salary. Furthermore, Leiva could also convince Coutinho to drop his wages a little in order to further facilitate the move.