Barcelona Reveal Why Coutinho, Dembele Deals Are Being Delayed

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Barcelona have admitted that it is “difficult” to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, because he does not have a release clause.

The La Liga side’s sporting director, Robert Fernandez, suggests a transfer would have been completed, if the Brazilian playmaker had an escape clause in his deal at Anfield.

Liverpool are braced for a third bid for the 25-year-old, after they rejected two offers from Barca.

Barcelona, who completed the signing of Paulinho on Thursday, want to spend their £200million windfall from the sale of Neymar on deals for Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele.

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“Not just Barca but any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market,” Fernandez said.

“Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clauses so that makes things trickier.

“Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.

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“Dembele and Coutinho are two important players that we like a lot and have done for a long time. They have the conditions, the right age and could adapt to our football. They would be good to have here. That’s the reality.

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“With respect to Liverpool and Dortmund, when there are negotiations you need time, you need to work things into a favourable situation for players and ourselves.

“We still have days ahead of us, would like to move things faster, but do admit they’re two players we would like here. But it’s the clubs who will have the final say on if we finally achieve those two transfers.”

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