Barcelona club directors have arrived in England to discuss a potential transfer
Philippe Coutinho has attracted two bids from Barcelona already this summer
Barcelona’s pursuit of Philippe Coutinho was stepped up on Tuesday morning when club directors arrived in England in an attempt to close the deal so the player can make his debut against Real Madrid on Sunday.
Oscar Grau, Raul Sanllehi and Javier Bordas hope to return to Barcelona on Tuesday night with the deal done and believe they are now pushing against an open door with Liverpool having accepted that Coutinho wants to leave.
Barcelona had an opening offer for £72m turned down two weeks ago by Liverpool and a second offer closer to £80m also failed to convince.
But they believe a third bid – along with the player having already communicated to Jurgen Klopp that he would like to be given the chance to make the move – will make the transfer happen.
The Catalan giants sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198m fee last week and have discussed upping their offer for Coutinho to £100m .
Coutinho is attracted by a move to Barcelona but will not force through a transfer because he would prefer an amicable exit from Liverpool
Liverpool manager Klopp is adamant that Coutinho will not be sold this summer and has become irritated by continued questions surrounding the midfielder’s future.
Earlier this month, Klopp hit out at the suggestion that Barcelona officials would come and discuss a move for Coutinho telling a reporter: ‘Don’t waste your energy.
‘In this moment it’s about transfers and I’ve nothing to say. I cannot talk about this just because a Barcelona guy starts talking.
‘Did he say they come to Liverpool and do business? Something like this? They want to come over? They are funny. I don’t want things like this.
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.’
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.