Liverpool agress £142m deal with Barcelona for 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.

Sport say the Reds also want to make sure they receive £30m in bonus payments during the course of Coutinho’s time at the Nou Camp. And once that is all ironed out, and then Coutinho’s move will supposedly be announced. Liverpool stand to make a huge profit on the Brazilian, who signed for just £8.5million back in the January 2013. Five years on, he will likely leave as the second most-expensive football of all time. Meanwhile, former Liverpool star Paul Ince thinks his old side would be making the right call if they sell Coutinho this month.

 

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