Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho wants assurances, Madrid's 'Operation Figo' and more - 10th December 2017
Coutinho seeks assurances of a summer move
The Brazilian has been the top target for Barcelona since the summer where they bid thrice, only to be rejected by Liverpool owners each time. However, the Catalan club are unwilling to let go and are looking to sign him in the upcoming transfer windows.
Ernesto Valverde needs a top player in his side, especially in the midfield areas and Coutinho can do that. The Barcelona boss views the 25-year old as a quality injection to the squad in January who can help the club win silverware this season.
If Coutinho leaves in January, then Liverpool have a tough task on their hands to replace him as top players are unlikely to move in the middle of the season. Further, the Liverpool no.10 is a key player for the club and Jurgen Klopp needs him to challenge in the Premier League as well as in the Champions League.
Now, the Mirror reports that Coutinho is willing to stay until the summer if he is given assurances of a summer move to Barcelona. The former Inter midfielder is happy at Liverpool and is interested to commit for this season provided his wish is granted in the summer.
While this could very well be a situation similar to Luis Suarez and Liverpool could let him leave in the summer, it remains to be seen whether Barcelona are willing to wait till then.
Perez plotting to lure Sergi Roberto to the Bernabeu
When Luis Figo moved from Barcelona to arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2000, he became the most hated player in Spain at the time for obvious reasons. Now, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wants to use it as an inspiration and pull off a similar deal, as per Spanish outlet, Diario Gol.
The newspaper states that Perez wants to lure Sergi Roberto away from Barcelona. The versatile midfielder is currently embroiled in contract talks with the Blaugrana as his current one is set to expire in 2019. However, rumours in recent days pointed to the 25-year old asking for wages in line with his status in the current squad.
While the talks go on, Perez is looking to pull off a controversial move. The Madrid president is reportedly so keen on the player that he is willing to let Luka Modric and Dani Ceballos leave in order to make room for Roberto.
Despite the Spaniard's desire to stay at Barcelona, the extent to which Perez is willing to go for his signature could definitely turn his head. Further, Roberto's release clause of just under €40 million makes the financial part pretty easy for Madrid which in turn, is a warning sign for Barcelona to tie up the player soon.
Deulofeu informs team-mates of departure
The La Masia graduate returned to the club in the summer after departing in 2013. The Spaniard had spells at Everton, Sevilla and AC Milan before Barcelona's new manager Ernesto Valverde signed him in the summer. However, the 23-year old has failed to make the expected impact so far and the injury to summer signing Ousmane Dembele meant the pressure on Deulofeu was higher than expected.
Now, Spanish outlet, Don Balon reports that the winger informed his team-mates over his departure in the summer. Lionel Messi arranged dinner for his team-mates and Deulofeu reportedly broke the news to his team-mates during the social meeting.
As per the report, he is set to return to AC Milan in the summer as he sees his opportunities getting limited when Dembele returns from injury. Further, Valverde is looking to add another striker in the coming year and Deulofeu believes it to be the final nail in the coffin, as per the report.
In the end, it is sad for Barcelona fans to see a local lad not make it but Deulofeu leaving could be the best decision for all parties involved.