Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join Barcelona this summer, with Liverpool ready to let him leave if their asking price is met, according to reports in Spain.
Spanish newspaper Sport claims Coutinho has been persuaded to ditch Anfield and move to the Nou Camp this summer, despite the Reds’ imminent return to the Champions League.
Coutinho only signed a new five-year deal with Liverpool earlier this year, but at the time it was felt that was only to safeguard the value of their prized asset as Barcelona continued to hover.
Now the reports suggest Coutinho has agreed to the move with Liverpool holding out for a €90million fee (£76million), with the sale set to eclipse the fee Barca paid the Reds for Luis Suarez back in 2014.
The Catalan giants are also believed to have assured Coutinho that he will be a regular starter next season if he heads to the Camp Nou and that they are certain the player wants to make the summer switch to join his international team-mate and friend Neymar.
Indeed, Coutinho’s desire to leave Anfield could be the deciding factor and having spoken to the players entourage, it’s believed Barca chiefs have encouraged the player to push for a move in order to get bring the transfer fee down.
However, with the player under contract to 2022, the Reds will only sell the Brazil star should their £76million asking price be met.
Speaking about the player’s likely move to Barcelona earlier this year, former Reds defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said: Carragher insists that, like almost every player in the world, the allure of joining either of the Spanish giants will prove too strong, should either come knocking.
“We’ve had plenty of players in the past Liverpool who have signed big contracts then moved on.
“If Coutinho wasn’t happy he wouldn’t sign a contract. We hear there’s no release clause which again doesn’t mean everything.
“Liverpool are no different to every other club in world football besides two. If Barcelona or Real Madrid come for one of your players and pay what you want, they’re going, because 99 per cent of players want to play for those two clubs.
“If that happens, it means, if they’re unbelievable for Liverpool, then you have to thank him, as we did with Luis Suarez.”