Barcelona officials fly in to 'finalise' Philippe Coutinho deal - reports
Barcelona officials are reported to have landed in Liverpool in a bid to finalise a deal to sign Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Barca directors Oscar Grau, Raul Sanllehi and Javier Bordas have arrived on Merseyside to conduct what are said to be ‘final negotiations’ over a move for Coutinho, with a view to the player making his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid this weekend.
The report is something of a diversion from Liverpool’s repeated position that they will not sell Coutinho for any price this summer, with the Anfield club’s swift rejection of Barcelona’s opening offer for the player last month confirming their desire to hang to their No.10.
Several sources have suggested that Coutinho would be keen on a move to Barcelona, who are eager to add to their squad as they look to spend some of the €222m world record transfer fee they received from the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain last week.
Yet it remain to be seen whether talks over a deal to sell Coutinho as are far advanced as this latest rumour suggests, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp stating on several occasions that his club will not consider the sale of any of their star names this summer.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are awaiting developments at Southampton, where their chief transfer target Virgil van Dijk handed in a transfer request on Monday and then released a statement that appeared to end his career at the south coast club.
Southampton remain determined to stand firm on their stance that Van Dijk is not for sale, with their eagerness not to sell the player to Liverpool after the Anfield club staged unsolicited talks with the player and his agent earlier this year as strong as ever.