News ID: 207574
Published: 0255 GMT January 05, 2018

Barca makes breakthrough in sealing Coutinho deal

Barca makes breakthrough in sealing Coutinho deal
REUTERS

Barcelona now believe it can complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho as early as next week, after a breakthrough was made in pursuit of what would be the third-biggest transfer in football history.

While Liverpool is still trying to persuade the Brazilian to stay, the club’s stance is no longer that he is definitively not for sale, and sources close to the Catalan hierarchy feel more confident than ever that the package they are putting together should now be enough to push the deal through, The Independent reported.

The Anfield top brass are prepared to leave the final decision to manager Jurgen Klopp but, should he decide that Coutinho can go, it will really come down to the terms of the deal.

Barcelona is currently preparing to pay a total of £133 million as the Catalans seek a long-term successor to Andres Iniesta.

With Barcelona’s interest in the Brazilian having dominated most of the summer transfer window, it had been expected that it would run for most of this one, but the Catalans are now acting on the basis it could be completed within the next seven days and before Liverpool’s match with Manchester City on January 14.

On Thursday manager Klopp insisted that the ongoing saga has not and will not affect the mindset and performances of other players in his squad.

The Liverpool manager repeatedly said he is “not interested” in the speculation surrounding Coutinho's future claiming, “There is nothing to say until there is something to say.” 

Klopp did, however, stress that the uncertainty over Coutinho's future will not affect other members of the Liverpool squad and he is confident that his players are focused enough to ignore transfer speculation.

“They are professional football players. Sometimes they are in the middle of the story and sometimes they are sat next to the guy in the dressing room who is in the middle of the story,” he said.

“These young boys are used to this from a really early age and are used to ignoring things around them. If they are smart enough they ignore most of it.”

   
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