In the wake of conflicting information coming from Merseyside and Catalunya, Yahoo Sports report that Barcelona have reached an agreement with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho and claim that the player was informed of the deal before he flew back to his homeland for international duty with Brazil.
Big spending Barcelona close to budget limit
According to Yahoo, the two clubs finally settled on a fee of 160 million euros - which would set a new Premier League transfer record. That figue would include performance-related add-ons and would take Barcelona's summer spending to over 350 million euros. The Catalans laid out 105 million euros just a few days ago for winger Ousmane Dembélé - a figure which will rise to 147 million including variables. Apart from Dembélé, Barça have spent 40 million signing Paulinho, 12 recovering Gerard Deulofeu and 30 million on Nelson Semedo. The club has brought in 226 million from selling Neymar to PSG and Cristian Tello to Betis. Back in July, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that Barça would only have 60 million euros, over and above any revenue gained from selling players, to spend during this inscription period. Unless Bartomeu miscalculated, Barça would have to go over their budget to sign Coutinho at a time when the club is trying to reduce their debts. André Gomes, Denis Suárez, Munir, Arda Turan and the injured Rafinha could be sold to balance the books although time is fast running out with Friday's 8pm deadline, the latest they would have to find buyers in LaLiga.
Klopp hoping to complete squad before Thursday's deadline
Yahoo and ESPN report that Liverpool are holding back on announcing Coutinho's sale to gain time in their race to secure Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before deadline day as Jürgen Klopp aims to put the final touches to his squad.
However, Liverpool CEO Peter Moore stood by the club's official line that Coutinho won't be sold under any circumstances during this transfer window in reponse to a fan on Twitter. Meanwhile, Spanish radio La COPE spoke to Doctor Michael Simoni, a close friend of the player who insisted this evening that Coutinho "has no idea where he will be playing this year..." With both clubs playing out a strategic, bait and bleed campaign with Coutinho, perhaps the truth will only come out when the market finally closes at midnight on Thursday.
My sincere apologies, but I know not of what you speak...— Peter Moore (@PeterMooreLFC) 29 August 2017