Philippe Coutinho's transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona could be officially confirmed by Monday

A source close to Coutinho told The Independent he 'can smell' his dream of playing for Barca

Ed Malyon
Saturday 06 January 2018 15:12
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Premier League January transfer window round-up

The deal to take Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona is agreed almost in its entirety and the Brazilian playmaker could make the move official by Monday.

Coutinho, who has pushed strongly behind the scenes for the move, is said to be ecstatic that the clubs have found agreement and he “can smell” his dream of playing for Barca, a source close to the player told The Independent.

Discussions were entered into on Friday night with a feeling that a deal would be agreed. Liverpool had set a price that they were willing to accept, which started at around £105m but could reach nearly £140m with add-ons and clauses.

Barcelona, keen to secure a player they view as a short-term reliever to Andres Iniesta and, in kind, his eventual successor, agreed to pay the fee and all that remain now are formalities for the Brazil international to move to La Liga.

Monaco winger Thomas Lemar is the priority target to replace him but there is an acknowledgement that the Ligue 1 side are reluctant to sell this month.

Riyad Mahrez’s entourage have been contacted by the Reds and there is certainly interest in bringing the Premier League winner to Anfield, but Leicester have previously insisted that the Algerian playmaker would only be sold for a sky-high fee so any chance of a deal will likely rest with the Foxes softening their stance.

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