Reports: Barcelona to confirm signing of Philippe Coutinho in the next few hours
What’s the story?
Barcelona are set to announce the signing of Philippe Coutinho in the next few hours according to beIN Sports. The Catalan side have agreed a €100 million deal with Liverpool according to the report.
They claim that the agent of Coutinho informed the Reds that the player wanted to leave the club and join the Spanish side this summer. The Premier League side were forced to agree the deal in the end.
Also read: 5 ideal replacements for Neymar at Barcelona
In case you didn’t know...
Neymar has completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain today after they triggered his release clause. The Brazilian was the main one pushing for Coutinho to join the Catalan side.
Liverpool rejected two bids already from Barcelona for their star this summer. They had repeatedly told them that he is not for sale but with the player forcing the move, they had to slap a price tag on him.
The heart of the matter
Earlier today, Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barcelona stepped up negotiations for Coutinho after Neymar completed his move. They reported that Liverpool were forced to negotiate with the Catalan side and a transfer was now close.
Coutinho's agent, Giuliano Bertolucci, was in London to complete the deal after Barcelona made a new offer. The Spanish publication claimed that Liverpool demanded €100 million for the Brazilian and the new offer matches their asking price.
Meanwhile, Coutinho sat out of Liverpool's win over Athletic Bilbao in their final pre-season match today. The reports in the United Kingdom suggest that he's suffered a minor injury but will be fit for the start of the season.
However, reports in Spain suggest that the player sat out to force a move to Barcelona. The reports are now fueled by beIN Sports' claims that he will be announced by the Spanish side tonight.
Apart from Coutinho, Barcelona have reopened negotiations with Juventus for Paulo Dybala as well according to the beIN Sports report. The Catalan side are willing to use all the money they got from Neymar's transfer on these two players in the coming days.
Barcelona are also set to trigger the €32 million release clause of Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez after Ernesto Valverde demanded the signing.
Coutinho to Barcelona was bound to happen but it does come as a bit of a surprise now. He was showing all signs of staying but with a vacant space in the starting XI at Camp Nou, he has probably decided to make the jump.