It looks as though Neymar is leaving Barcelona, and it also looks as though Barcelona have his replacement.
According to a report from Diario SPORT, the Blaugrana are closing in on a deal for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho. The report claims Coutinho is “one step away” from the transfer, and the last hurdle to jump is the fee. Liverpool want over €100 million, but Barça are willing to offer just under €90 million. If PSG pay Neymar’s clause, however, Barça will agree to give Liverpool what they want and get the deal done.
We of course have to take this with many grains of salt given the report comes from SPORT. But Barça’s interest in Coutinho is nothing new, there have been multiple stories about a transfer happening this summer, and with Neymar so close to leaving, the club will have to act quickly to sign his replacement.
Coutinho would naturally slot into Neymar’s position if he’s indeed signed, but he has played in central midfield for Liverpool towards the end of last season and is one of the most talented players in the Premier League. There is no ideal replacement to Neymar in the market, but Coutinho is not a horrible alternative.
We’ll follow up this story and bring you the developments.