|Liverpool agree to sell Philippe Coutinho|
Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho for a fee that could rise to £142million, according to reports in Spain. Coutinho was left out of Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Burnley on New Year’s Day and was not included in tonight’s squad to face Everton in the FA Cup. According to Sport, negotiations for the playmaker have intensified over the last 48 hours and the two clubs have settled on a £142m fee for Coutinho – with £107m up front.
Coutinho’s representatives are said to be in Spain today to finalise the details of his transfer and the deal could be announced over the weekend.
One slight sticking point could be the additional clauses in Coutinho’s transfer that would see Barcelona paying the full £142m fee but those details are expected to be easily ironed out. Though Coutinho is cup-tied for the Champions League, Barcelona have been desperate to sign the Brazilian in this window and it appears that they’ve got their man. Liverpool have already spent part of Coutinho’s fee by sealing a world record move for Virgil van Dijk.
Nevertheless, Coutinho’s departure will come as a bitter blow to Liverpool’s chances of making the top four but the midfielder leaves on good terms after giving his all this season despite the Reds blocking his dream move last summer. The Reds could now move for Monaco playmaker Thomas Lemar, while a move for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has also been touted. Coutinho’s move, should it be confirmed, would make him the second most expensive footballer of all-time behind Neymar.