Liverpool agree £104m with Barcelona for Coutinho sale
Barcelona have struck a £104million deal with Liverpool to sign Philippe Coutinho, according to reports in the Spanish media.
The Spanish giants have been chasing the player all summer, but having had bids of £74million and £90million rejected, it’s believed Barcelona have finally convinced Liverpool into selling their star Brazilian.
Ernesto Valverde’s team have this week completed the signing of Paulinho – a move that is set to push Chelsea and Man Utd target Sergi Roberto closer to the exit door – with the former Tottenham man due to be presented at a press conference on Thursday.
However, Catalonian newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims to Coutinho will be presented, or at the very least, announced at the same Nou Camp press conference.
Liverpool had initially rejected Coutinho’s formal transfer request to leave Liverpool, but it’s believed their stance has softened and they will now grant the player his wish and allow the club enough time to sign a replacement.
Coutinho only signed a new five-year deal with Liverpool in January, and with the club not sticking an exit clause in his deal, they have been able to push Barcelona for the highest fee possible.
And Barcelona’s desire to land their man has reportedly seen the club strike a club record €115million deal (£104.3m), with the Reds already linked with moves for Max Meyer and Lorenzo Insigne as possible replacements.
Coutinho will miss Liverpool’s Champions League qualifier with Hoffenheim on Tuesday evening and it seems he has already played his last game for the club.
Asked about the Brazilian’s current situation, Klopp said on Monday: “Nothing has changed in the last few days on either side. I’m not sure what you’re asking about.
“He’s not available for us at the moment. That’s the main issue. He cannot play for Liverpool at the moment.
“That’s quite a blow for us. We’ve known for a few days about it do we prepare for this game without him.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, insists Barcelona’s pursuit of Coutinho is not impacting on the rest of the squad.
“It’s a difficult situation for Phil,” Henderson said.
“Whatever I say probably won’t help. As players were are fully focused on the job in hand.
“As players you expect in transfer windows for this to happen. You have to focus on what’s important, to stay together. The game tomorrow is the big focus for the team. That’s what we will do.
“It shouldn’t have an effect at all.
“We want Phil to stay because he’s a world-class player.
“It’s a difficult situation but yeah, if you ask anyone in the team of course we want him to stay.”
Barcelona open their La Liga season against Real Betis on Sunday and it’s also believed a £90million deal for Ousmane Dembele could also be agreed.
Anthony Nlebem with wire reports
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