Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho deal agreed, Messi's Catalonia clause, and more - 7th January 2018
Liverpool agree deal to sell Philippe Coutinho
One of the longest transfer sagas in recent times has finally come to an end as Liverpool finally agree to sell their no.10 to Barcelona. The English side's official club statement read:
"Liverpool can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with Barcelona, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately.”
Meanwhile, the Reds' manager Jurgen Klopp spoke about the sale and said:
“It is with great reluctance that we – as a team and club – prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho. It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July when Barcelona first made their interest known."
"Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his team-mates this was a move he was desperate to make happen. Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do."
"I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of Liverpool was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 percent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.”
The Catalan side are set to pay £142 million in total, making Coutinho the second-most expensive player in world football. He is set to sign a contract until the summer of 2023 and is set to have a release clause of €400 million. Thus, Barcelona finally land the midfield signing they have wanted to improve the side.
Lionel Messi has an exit clause based on Catalonia's independence
The Argentine signed a new deal recently which will keep him at Camp Nou till 2021 and has a new release clause of €700 million. Now, reports have emerged which state that the 30-year old has asked for a no-fee exit clause to allow him to leave if the club is not playing in a top league.
His father and agent, Jorge Messi, spoke about the same to an Argentine radio station, The Red, where he said:
"All that has been said is not true. There is an agreement that Lionel will remain at the club as long as they are playing in a top league. If Catalonia gets independence then Lionel would remain as long as they were in a competitive league."
Thus, if Catalonia becomes independent from Spain in the coming years, then it is imperative for Barcelona to find a league as competitive as the La Liga, else risk losing their superstar.
Yerry Mina wants to join Barcelona now
Palmeiras sporting director, Alexandre Mattos has confirmed that the 23-year old centre-back wants to make the switch now and he can move if Barcelona match the asking price. The Blaugrana initially had an agreement to sign the Colombian for €8 million in the summer but decided to bring the deal forward due to Javier Mascherano's impending departure to Hebei China Fortune.
Initially, Ernesto Valverde looked likely to miss his defensive target as Palmeiras were insistent on holding the player until summer. However, as quoted by FourFourTwo, Mattos now said:
“I spoke with Mina, who says he has big dreams and that now is the time to leave. Now that we know his desire, it’s time to reach an agreement with Barcelona. If they come to us with the figure we have asked for, Mina will go. If not, he’ll stay at Palmeiras.”
Thus, if Barcelona pay up the reported €12 million, they can wrap up their second signing of January in as many days.