Reports from the UK and Spain state that Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho is close to completing a whopping £145m move to Barcelona.
Several sources are reporting that the transfer is all but a done deal, after Coutinho did not travel with the rest of his Liverpool team-mates to their mid-season break to Dubai.
Officially, the Brazilian has missed Liverpool’s last two games with a thigh injury, although there seems to be more to the story.
"Injured" Phil Coutinho arrives in London on way to Barca. pic.twitter.com/S89CzUhCQf
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) January 6, 2018
Liverpool rejected three offers from Barca for Coutinho in the previous transfer window – the last for £118m – and denied a transfer request from the player himself.
But it seems that the Spanish side have finally made an offer the Reds can no longer refuse.
If reports of a £145m fee are to be believed, it will be a new record transfer for the Premier League, and the second highest transfer fee ever after the £200m Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar.
Sources in Spain also report that negotiations have been under way for several weeks but intensified in recent days – and that the deal is close to being finalised.
Coutinho will fly to Barcelona as soon as the deal is concluded, with a medical expected to be carried out on Monday.
Coutinho himself has long wanted a move to the Nou Camp, but Liverpool have been desperate to keep him.
If he does move to Barca, he will not be able to represent them in the Champions League for the remainder of the season, having already turned out for Liverpool.
The Reds bought Coutinho for £8.5m from Inter Milan in 2013.