Liverpool ace Coutinho set to join Barcelona
Barcelona and Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle to allow Philippe Coutinho to move to the Spanish giants for 120 million euros ($144 million), a report said Saturday.
Barcelona-based Sport newspaper said Coutinho would join Barca this month on a deal for five seasons, although it said the details of the deal were still to be finalised.
Coutinho’s departure would be a blow to Liverpool, but it would allow Barcelona to move on from the bitter experience of losing his Brazil teammate Neymar last summer to Qatar-backed Paris Saint-Germain for a world record 222 million euros.
Coutinho’s age – he is 25 – is also attractive to Barca, whose three main stars, Lionel, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta are all in their thirties.
French sport daily L’Equipe reported on Saturday that Liverpool were lining up Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez to replace Coutinho, although other reports have indicated that the Merseyside club would prefer to acquire Thomas Lemar from Monaco.