Barca 'close' to a deal for Coutinho


"We still have days ahead of us, would like to move things faster, but (I) do admit they're two players we would like here".

Barca have identified Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele as targets following Neymar's world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.

With Barcelona's general manager Pep Segura claiming a deal was "close" to being completed for Coutinho following the club's 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday, Balague was once again on hand to debunk the statement as he remains of the belief that the 25-year-old is likely to remain at Anfield this summer.

Nou Camp officials are ready to allocate the entire £198m they received from Neymar's departure to PSG in signing the two players, with the report claiming each deal will be worth in excess of €100m (£91m).

Klopp said on Thursday that nothing had changed with their stance.

"As a manager of a football club I have bosses, and if the bosses decide, for example, we sell a player or we don't sell him, then I have to accept it", he said after the game at Watford.

Liverpool face Crystal Palace in their first home game of the season on Saturday afternoon and Klopp confirmed Coutinho will miss the game, although Daniel Sturridge could make his first appearance of the campaign after recovering from a muscle strain.

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Say Liverpool get £120m in for Coutinho now, at a rough guess they might go for someone like Christian Pulisic at [Borussia] Dortmund, who is a player Klopp adores.

"If I was upset, I'd tell the player himself".

There have been suggestions Coutinho could agitate for a move by effectively going on strike, but while he is still injured that is impossible.

"We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done.We know we have to strengthen this team and that is what we are doing".

'To be honest I have nothing to say about his attitude because since he has had a back problem he has obviously not been in training, ' Klopp said.

"Daniel, yes I would say". 'We know it is a very hard situation but there is nothing new to say.