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English Premier League

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho set to finally get his dream Barcelona move

Reports say the clubs have agreed a deal in principle to send the Brazilian to Spain

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 January, 2018, 7:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 January, 2018, 11:36pm

Barcelona and Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle to allow Philippe Coutinho to move to the Spanish giants for 120 million (HK$1.12 billion), a report said on Saturday.

A 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.

“The club reached a deal in principle yesterday evening with Liverpool on the final amount of the deal,” Sport reported.

Another newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, said Liverpool were demanding 160 million euros for 25-year-old Coutinho, but that the sum would be made up of the transfer fee and other “variables”.

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.

Philippe Coutinho? I prefer my players, says Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde

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.