Barca anxious to close Coutinho deal ahead of Clasico

Liverpool are resigned to losing Philippe Coutinho after the player reportedly informed manager Jurgen Klopp he wanted to leave and Barcelona officials are claimed to be in the United Kingdom to seal the deal in time for the Brazilian to be eligible for his first El clasico.

A fee in the region of £100m is expected to be paid for the player after bids of £72m and £80m were rejected by Liverpool. Barcelona are not short of cash as the €222m windfall from the Neymar sale is still untouched and will come in handy to buy off Coutinho.

Therefore club officials Oscar Grau, Raul Sanllehi and Javier Bordas hope to return to Barcelona on Tuesday night with the deal done and it is believed a deal can be done just in time for the player to make his debut against Real Madrid on Sunday.

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Coutinho is attracted by a move to Barcelona but will not force through a transfer because he would prefer an amicable exit from Liverpool.

If the move is completed he will become Liverpool’s new record sale, breaking the £75m mark they paid for Luis Suarez. The Brazilian will join Suarez if he moves to the Camp Nou.

Coutinho has scored 34 goals and provided 29 assists for Liverpool since joining in 2013 but former Barcelona coach Cesar Luis Menotti has warned the club’s supporters against believing he will be the new Neymar.

Menotti wrote in his column for Diario Sport: ‘It’s good that Barcelona fans realise he is not the new Neymar, just a good player who has proved his worth at Liverpool.’

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Barcelona have been quiet in the transfer window this summer with the £30million purchase of defender Nelson Semedo from Benfica and the deal to buy back Gerard Deulofeu the only major arrivals at the Nou Camp so far.

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