Barcelona general manager Pep Segura has revealed the La Liga giants are ‘close’ to completing a deal for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
The 25-year-old handed in a transfer request last week in a bid to push through a move to the Camp Nou and is yet to feature for Liverpool this season because of a ‘back’ problem.
Barcelona have around £250million to spend after Neymar’s £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain but they’ve been frustrated in their efforts for Coutinho with Liverpool rejecting two bids so far.
The Catalans lost 2-0 to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday but Segura confirmed afterwards that moves for Coutinho and Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele were nearing completion.
‘Coutinho and Dembele are both close,’ said Segura.
‘We are hopeful that they will end up wearing the Barca shirt.
‘Until deals are closed I can’t say anything. We know we have to help the team and reinforce it and that’s what we’re doing.’
Ernesto Valverde is desperate to add to his side after a disappointing pre-season but he’s unsure if the duo will be at the Camp Nou in time to feature in their opening La Liga fixture against Real Betis.
Asked whether the deals could be done in time for Sunday, Valverde replied: ‘I don’t know’.
Liverpool have consistently maintained that Coutinho will not be sold this summer but there was a clear change in language from Jurgen Klopp over the weekend when the German hinted the deal was out of his hands.
‘As a manager of a football club I have bosses, and if bosses decide, for example, just in general, if we sell a player or we don’t sell him, then I have to accept it,’ said Klopp.