Barcelona Expected To Make January Bid For Coutinho

Liverpool Expected To Stand Firm Once Again

Philippe Coutinho Liverpool transfer news
Image: Ruaraidh Gillies

Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau admits the club could be back in with a bid for Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window. But whether Liverpool will sell is another matter.

Grau was speaking at a press conference in Barcelona on Wednesday in which he revealed the club have a total operating budget of €897million for the 2017-18 season. He was asked about winter signings and in particular Coutinho for whom Barca were prepared to pay at least €100million this summer.

“We could sign Coutinho in January,” he said. “We have money to sign Coutinho or any other player asked for by the technical secretariat. However, the club will be strict and sustainable. We do not want losses but to generate income.”

Grau warned that despite the €222million received from the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in August, by the time taxes and commissions were deducted from that figure they were left with €144million.

“If there are to be arrivals then there must be departures as well,” he added. Arda Turan, Thomas Vermaelen and Paco Alcacer are all being tipped to leave.

However, the Liverpool Echo claims that Liverpool are still adamant they won’t sell Coutinho regardless of the size of the offer.

It was revealed last month that the Brazilian could have doubled his wages had he moved to the Nou Camp. Barcelona were prepared to offer him a deal worth £400,000 a week.

Grau was also asked about the impact on FC Barcelona of the current turmoil in Catalunya with the country seemingly edging towards independence. Such a move could threaten Barca’s participation in La Liga and there has been talk of the setting up of a Catalan league or even playing in a foreign league.

“La Liga and Barça have to go hand in hand,” said Grau. “We want to continue in LaLiga. This budget is based on the fact that we will continue in La Liga.”