Barcelona have reportedly stepped up their interest in Philippe Coutinho, having sent representatives to England to complete his signing.
Spanish publication Sport have reported that Barcelona are accelerating the operation to land Philippe Coutinho this summer. The Catalan club have sent their representatives to London to set up meetings with Liverpool as well as the player’s agent to push through a deal that is likely to be in the region of €100 million.
Coutinho’s career has taken off in the last couple of seasons, with the Brazilian taking on the mantle of being Liverpool’s leader in attack since the departure of Steven Gerrard. In fact, his progress has been so impressive that the player is widely regarded as one of the best attacking players in the Premier League.
2016/17 was a season that somewhat restricted Coutinho’s playing time as he missed two months of action with an ankle injury. Nevertheless, the Brazilian playmaker enjoyed his most fruitful campaign to date, bagging 13 goals and 7 assists in 31 games and leading Liverpool to a Top 4 finish in the league.
Barcelona are reportedly launching a “final offensive” to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. (Source: Sport) pic.twitter.com/pfqgvCeicW
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) July 25, 2017
In the last two years, Coutinho has also established himself as a regular fixture in the Brazil national side and if things go to plan, he could be set to join international teammate and friend Neymar at Camp Nou this summer.
Barcelona have been eyeing Coutinho for a long time now, and have rekindled their interest in the player after facing disappointment in their pursuit of Marco Verratti. But with midfield reportedly being top priority for newly-appointed manager Ernesto Valverde, the Brazilian has emerged as a viable target.
The need to sign a top midfielder is indeed urgent for Barcelona, having failed to successfully fill the void left by Xavi. The likes of Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes were frustratingly inconsistent last season, and with Andres Iniesta in the twilight years of his career, a long-term solution is required.
Coutinho, whose playmaking abilities have come to the fore in the last two seasons, is just the player who could solve the Blaugrana’s woes, and help assert their control at the centre of the park. The player, too, is open to making the switch to Camp Nou, despite only renewing his deal with Liverpool earlier this year.
However, Liverpool are unwilling to part ways with their prized asset. But, the report suggests that the Reds will consider selling Coutinho if Barcelona offer €100 million. The Catalan club, though, willing to pay €80 million to secure the player’s services.
Thus, the two clubs are set to reach an impasse over the transfer fee for Coutinho. But, negotiations are well underway, and Barcelona are confident that a deal can be secured. It now remains to be seen if the player is able to take the next step in his career and make the switch to Camp Nou this summer.