Barcelona ‘close’ to luring Coutinho
MADRID: Barcelona are ready to go on the transfer offensive and are close to signing Liverpool’s mercurial Brazilian, Philippe Coutinho.
According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Ernesto Valverde’s side will ramp up their attempts to lure the 25-year-old to the Nou Camp.
Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly denied that his attacking ace will leave this summer and Liverpool could demand an astronomical fee, given Coutinho’s current contract runs until 2022 with no release clause.
But there is optimism within the Catalan club that their main transfer target will seek a reunion with Luis Suarez and push for a move.
Two high-profile players also on Barcelona’s radar are Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe — Real Madrid’s No 1 target — and Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele.
The club are exploring attacking options in the event that Neymar departs to PSG for a world record £196 million (RM1.1 billion).
Coutinho’s compatriot could help persuade him to join Barca but if he is to leave, the club would be flush with cash and willing to spend big on Klopp’s main man.
Valverde is hoping all deals can be concluded in an efficient fashion in preparation for the new campaign.
The new boss is targeting the completion of all business by the time his side take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Aug 13.