Barcelona are on the brink of announcing the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, according to multiple reports in the Spanish media.
Spanish newspaper AS claims Barcelona have finally reached an agreement with the Reds, which will see Liverpool receive a club-record €160million (£142million). Further reports suggest the fee will see Barcelona pay €120million (£106million) up front – with the additional €40million in add-ons.
Furthermore, it’s claimed Coutinho will travel to Catalonia on Saturday evening to complete the formalities of the deal and could be presented to the Nou Camp crowd before their game against Levante at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
He would then train with the Spanish side on Monday and be available to make his debut against Celta Vigo next Wednesday.
The Telegraph report that Coutinho will not be joining his Liverpool team-mates when they head to Dubai for a warm-weather break ahead of next weekend’s clash with Man City.
Chris Bascombe’s story claims Liverpool are still trying to persuade Coutinho to stay for the remainder of the season, with the Reds said to be willing to accept a lower fee if the Brazilian stays put until the summer. He has even been offered a “massive pay hike” and the option of completing a permanent deal now while being loaned back for the rest of the campaign has also been discussed.
But the player is adamant he wants to move now.
When it goes through, the deal for Coutinho – who has apparently selected the No 7 shirt at Barcelona – will shatter two records in Spain. Firstly, the deal will represent Barcelona’s record signing – beating the €105million they paid Borussia Dortmund for Ousmane Dembele over the summer. Secondly, the deal will dwarf the January transfer record in Spain, currently set at just €27million when Real Madrid signed Klass-Jan Huntelaar from Ajax in 2009.