Coutinho skips Liverpool trip as €160m transfer to Barcelona nears

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Philippe Coutinho Liverpool

Barcelona expect to complete their record €160 million signing of Philippe Coutinho within days as the player has not travelled with Liverpool to their warm-weather camp in Dubai.

La Liga’s giants, in talks facilitated through the Brazil international’s representatives Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci , have committed to paying €120m as their base fee with a further €40m in appearance and performance-related extras that are likely to be triggered.

No agreement has yet been reached between the clubs, with the Reds still attempting to convince the 25-year-old - with direct involvement from Fenway Sports Group - to remain on Merseyside until the end of the season at least.

Sources close to Coutinho revealed to Goal that the Reds have been unsuccessful in their attempts to alter his mind thus far by offering their highest earner multiple incentives and a greater wage packet.

Though Liverpool are persisting in their efforts, the playmaker has maintained his insistence to advance his career with Barca immediately after five years of service at Anfield .

His decision is not financially motivated; the Brazilian wants to take the next step in his career, while offering his family a lifestyle more in keeping with their culture.

Coutinho, Camp Nou

Coutinho has begun making preparations for his switch to Camp Nou and is confident a desirable conclusion will soon be reached.

If that is the case, he would replace Ousmane Dembele as Barca’s most expensive recruit of all-time.

The move would also represent a new British transfer record, comfortably eclipsing the €105m Manchester United paid to Juventus for Paul Pogba.

After 201 appearances for Liverpool, in which he has scored 54 goals but not lifted a trophy, Coutinho feels he should be allowed to depart with the Reds offered the game’s third biggest transfer fee - behind the head-spinning additions of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain. 

Coutinho Barcelona logo GFX

The Anfield side adopted a definitive stance that their creative force would not be sold at any cost in the previous window, instantly rejecting three bloated bids from Barca.

But given Coutinho’s refusal to delay his dream move and the Catalans significantly improving their final proposal from the summer , an agreement seems imminent.

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Jurgen Klopp revealed there was no update on the situation following Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Cup third-round, while Barca boss Ernesto Valverde said ahead of Sunday's league test with Levante: "Coutinho is a great player, like many other players, and what I always like to do is value the players I have.

"There is speculation about great players around the world but we have many great players and I like to focus on mine.

"What the Barca fans want, apart from good players, is a team that plays well and wins, but the important thing is to have a good match tomorrow."