COUTINHO DEAL AGREED
That’s according to Duncan Castles, writing for Yahoo Sport. Duncan is hardly hanging about:
‘Philippe Coutinho has been told he will be a Barcelona player before the end of this week after Liverpool agreed a British and Spanish record transfer fee for the Brazil international. Barca will pay up to €160million for the attacking midfielder if all performance-related variables are met.’
Castles also writes that Liverpool are hoping to sign Thomas Lemar as a replacement, which is no great secret. Buy him and Keita (next summer) for less than Coutinho goes for and they have got a very good deal indeed.
An interesting addition to the story comes from the Twitter account of Liverpool CEO Peter Moore. Responding to a calm, level-headed tweet which read: “So much for keeping Coutinho. FSG are a bunch of s***houses with a sell to buy policy. Clubs going no-where”, Moore replied: “My sincere apologies, but I know not of what you speak.”
Why on earth would you engage with fans like that?
VAN DIJK HOPEFUL OF LIVERPOOL MOVE, BUT OTHERS READY
Oh Virgil, that power play really has not gone well so far. Van Dijk effectively went on strike to force through a move to Liverpool, but Southampton have protested time and time again that the Dutch defender will not be sold.
In truth, Southampton would surely accept an offer of £70m if it came from Arsenal or Chelsea, who the Independent say could make late bids. The issue is selling to Liverpool after they came tramping through their garden, stamping on all the flowers, earlier this summer.
The Independent say that Van Dijk is still confident of a move to Anfield, but that must surely be in hope than expectation with 36 hours of the transfer window remaining?
LLORENTE IN, COSTA TO LAS PALMAS
Chelsea are desperate to do some business in the last days of the transfer window to appease Antonio Conte, but the most likely arrival is Fernando Llorente. We picked him in our top ten moves that could happen, and by goodness we might actually get one right.
Widespread reports say that Chelsea are very close to signing the Swansea striker, with the selling club ready to do business for around £15m. That’s a pretty good deal for a 32-year-old, but would give Conte a similar option to interchange with Alvaro Morata when his first-choice striker gets a bit knackered.
Meanwhile, Diego Costa’s ludicrous summer saga needs sorting out, with just about everyone reasonable losing all goodwill for the striker. The latest claim is that he could join Las Palmas on loan until January before finalising the switch to Atletico Madrid.
The Daily Mirror say that a loan move to Gran Canaria would move Costa out of sight and out of mind, with a commitment from Atletico to pay £40m for a striker they only signed for £32m. That would be an excellent deal.
AND THE REST
Stoke are hoping to tie up a deal for Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph before the transfer deadline… Leicester and Crystal Palace are in transfer talks over a deal that will see Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray swap clubs… Everton are considering a shock loan move for Watford striker Stefano Okaka… Riyad Mahrez will stay at Leicester for at least one more season… West Brom have pulled off a stunning late deal to land Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris Saint-Germain… Chelsea have made a £25million offer for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley… Crystal Palace are willing to back under-pressure boss Frank de Boer with at least three new signings… Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez wants Liverpool’s Divock Origi to replace Dwight Gayle… Mauricio Pochettino is primed to complete an £8million move for the Estudiantes central defender Juan Foyth.