Liverpool have agreed a €160 million (£142m) deal to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in the biggest-ever transfer involving a British club. An announcement is expected to be made within hours.
Coutinho is due to fly out to Barcelona later on Saturday evening to finalise terms, with the move including a significant immediate down-payment following by achievable, guaranteed add-ons.
Coutinho earlier withdrew from the Liverpool squadthat is heading to Dubai for a few days’ break after the FA Cup victory over Everton on Friday evening, for which he was officially injured.
The deal concludes a long-running transfer saga, with the Brazilian international having hoped he would move to Barcelona last summer following the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
Liverpool refused to sell then with owners Fenway Sports Group taking the unusual step of releasing a statement declaring that the player would not be sold in that transfer window. But the club has softened its stance in recent weeks – the negotiations being something of a coup for Coutinho’s representative Kia Joorabchian.
Relations between all parties have remained amicable during the negotiations and it is regarded as a good deal for everyone.
Liverpool spent a world-record fee for a defender recently when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75m. It remains to be seen whether they try and sign a replacement for Coutinho in this window.
The Coutinho deal is the biggest ever involving a British club and the biggest ever signing made by Spanish club. It is the third-highest ever after the PSG deals for Neymar – close to £200m after his release clause was activated – and Kylian Mbappe.