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Barcelona working on Portuguese passport for Philippe Coutinho - source

Barcelona are working on obtaining a Portuguese passport for Philippe Coutinho in a bid to free up a third non-European Union spot in their squad, a club source confirmed to ESPN FC.

Coutinho, 26, currently occupies one of the three non-EU playing spots granted to each La Liga club and is eligible for a Portuguese passport through his wife, Aine, whom he married more than two years ago.

The other two places are taken by Colombia's Yerry Mina and new signing Arthur Melo, from Brazil, following the departure of Paulinho.

The source said Barcelona hope the documentation will be in place before the start of the new season, which begins Aug. 18.

Barca were looking into ways to obtain a Spanish passport for Neymar before he left for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, and Luis Suarez, from Uruguay, has an Italian passport through his wife, Sofia.

Securing EU eligibility for Coutinho is important as Barca's transfer plans could hinge on whether or not they can add another non-European player this summer. They have been linked with a move for Chelsea forward Willian, who is from Brazil.

Mina will also be following the situation closely as he looked set to leave the club this summer to free up space for Arthur, but Paulinho's return to China and Coutinho's eligibility mean the club are no longer obliged to sell the centre-back.

But Barca may still decide to cash in on Mina, who had an excellent World Cup, following the arrival of Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet, with sources confirming to ESPN FC that Everton are interested in a deal.

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