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Liverpool agreed to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

Barcelona have an agreement in principle to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for a base fee of €90 million (£81.6m) with bonuses that could bring the deal to €120m (£108.8m), sources close to the Catalan club told ESPN Deportes' Jordi Blanco. A delegation from Barcelona headed up by chief executive Oscar Grau travelled to Liverpool on Monday night to finalise the negotiation. The Brazilian midfielder told Liverpool earlier in the day that he wanted to leave and join Barcelona, sources close to the player have told ESPN Brasil. Liverpool reportedly rejected a an €80m (£72m) offer from Barcelona last month, while manager Jurgen Klopp said last week that the Catalan side can "save their energy" in their pursuit of Coutinho. But ESPN Brasil's sources said the deal was set to go through after the player spoke to Klopp about his desire to leave. The move is Barcelona's first since the club earned €222m by selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain this week. The move is being led by Coutinho's agents Kia Joorabchian and Sam Kohansal, who also hope to negotiate a move for Paulinho to join Barca from Guangzhou Evergrande in the coming days.
Earlier, former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness said the Premier League club would struggle to keep hold of Coutinho as it is hard for a player to turn down Barcelona. "I don't think you can [keep him]," Souness told Sky Sports, which reported on Monday that Coutinho wanted to leave Liverpool. "The chance to play for a team that would suit his style of play, I don't think he can say no to it, as hard as that is for Liverpool to accept. "Ultimately if he wants to go he will go, as much as the club won't want him to. He's on a contract but if the big players want to go these days then they get their own way." Fellow former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher says his old club may be able to hang on to Coutinho for now, but face a battle in keeping him away from Barca further down the line. "I don't think he will go. But he will want to go and wear that shirt," he told Sky Sports. "Who wouldn't want to go? It's Barcelona. "I'm sure whether it's this summer or next summer Philippe Coutinho will want to wear that shirt and go to Barcelona. There's nothing wrong with it. That's football."

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