Daily Mail

Barcelona are close to concluding a deal worth £145m with Liverpool for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho, Sky Sports reports.

Discussions between the two clubs have been underway for several weeks and both the fee and payment schedules have been agreed and a deal is close.

Coutinho will fly to Barcelona as soon as the deal is concluded, with a medical expected to be carried out on Monday.

The 25-year-old did not travel with the squad for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai and has not played in either of Liverpool’s fixtures since the transfer window opened in January because of a minor thigh problem.

The Brazilian was the subject of three failed bids from Barcelona in the summer, the largest of which was worth £113m, and he handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move but was unsuccessful.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde called the midfielder a “great player” ahead of their match against Levante on Sunday, but refused to be drawn on the issue.

“Coutinho is a great player, like other players that I am often asked about in press conferences. But I prefer to talk about the players that I already have,” Valverde said.

“When there is something new to say, the club will announce it.”

Coutinho has made 20 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season, scoring 12 goals.

Liverpool bought Coutinho for £8.5m from Inter Milan in 2013.

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