Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho deal agreed, Atletico report Griezmann approach and more - 20th December 2017
Barcelona agree fee with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho
The long-drawn transfer saga looks set to conclude in the upcoming transfer window as Liverpool could let their no.10 to finally leave and join Barcelona. Spanish publication, Sport, reports that a £132 million deal was agreed between the clubs, which is higher than the final bid of £119 million made during the summer transfer window.
The Blaugrana are looking to pay in instalments and also, another outlet, Don Balon, reports that contract talks took place between Coutinho's representatives and the Spanish club in the past week. The talks went well, as per Don Balon, with the Brazilian set to earn over £10 million per year, making him one of the highest earners at the club.
While the deal nears completion much to Barcelona fans' delight, fellow Brazilian, Paulinho, who joined in the summer welcomed the impending signing. He said:
"I've already talked a few times about the Coutinho question. Everyone expects the great players to come to Barcelona, we have a very strong group of great players, without Coutinho people are doing a great job."
"On Coutinho it is not necessary to say much; he is a great player, who has been making a difference in his team, in the Brazilian team, he is young but with experience in Europe.I want him to come, I think it would be a great signing for Barça. It would be a great happiness for me, because we would have another great player and another Brazilian."
Thus, it looks like Coutinho's time at Anfield is coming to an end while his potential team-mates are looking to welcome him with open arms.
Atletico report illegal Griezmann approach
The Frenchman has been linked with a potential move to Barcelona in recent weeks. A few Blaugrana players along with club director, Guillermo Amor, have spoken about Griezmann with the latter stating that Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu could have contacted the 26-year old's family, who are his representatives as well.
Thus, Atletico Madrid have sent a report to FIFA against the Spanish giants for directly contacting the player without the club's consent. The club statement read:
“Atletico Madrid has presented a complaint about Barcelona for repeated contact between Barcelona, the player and his people. Griezmann has a long contract and this cannot be permitted, while the club also considers it could affect the competition (La Liga) in which Barcelona are currently top and Atletico are second.”
Barcelona could face a potential transfer ban if Atletico's claims are found to be true which could prove to be a major blow as Valverde looks to rebuild an ageing squad.
Barcelona agree to sell Mascherano
The 33-year old joined the club from Liverpool in 2010 and has thrived as a centre-back in the past seven years. With age catching up, the Argentine is no longer a first-teamer and is looking for a move in order to make it to the World Cup in Russia in the summer.
In recent weeks, several reports have stated that the Blaugrana are willing to let the player go, only if they find a suitable replacement, given the lack of defensive depth in Valverde's squad.
However, in what is positive news for the player, Barcelona have agreed to let him leave in January, as per Spanish outlet, Mundo Deportivo. Mascherano has reportedly been allowed to join Chinese Super League side, Hebei China Fortune, managed by former Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini.
As per the report, the Chinese side will pay €10 million to Barcelona for Mascherano's services while the player himself will see a significant rise from his current wages of €6 million per year. This could prove to be a good move for all parties involved and Mascherano could very well return to Barcelona in a coaching role once he hangs up his boots.