Coutinho close to record Barcelona move

Coutinho close to record Barcelona move

Barcelona are finalising an offer in excess of €150 million to secure Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, which would make him the third-most expensive footballer in the world and their record signing.

Only Neymar’s €222m switch from La Liga’s leaders to Paris Saint Germain, and his team-mate Kylian Mbappe’s loan move from Monaco – which becomes permanent ahead of next season for €180m – surpass that figure.

It would also see Coutinho oust Ousmane Dembele – brought in from Borussia Dortmund last August for an initial fee of €105m that could rise to €145m as the club’s highest-cost recruit.

Barca bloated their three failed bids with unrealistic extras for the Brazil international in the summer, but their base amount now would eclipse the €105m Manchester United paid to Juventus for Paul Pogba in August 2016 by around €15m to set a new British transfer record.

It will be supplemented by €40m in add-ons related to performances and appearances, which are likely to be triggered.

There was a possibility of doing an advanced deal now ahead of 2018-19, but Barca and the 25-year-old are insistent on an immediate transfer.

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