Liverpool targets Mahrez to replace Countinho

Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona Will Liverpool transfer happen this month

Philippe Coutinho is joining Barcelona after Liverpool agreed to sell the Brazilian in a deal that makes him the second-most expensive player in soccer history.

"Barcelona and Liverpool have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho".

After five years at Anfield, Coutinho is set to join LaLiga leaders Barca on a five-and-a-half-year contract, subject to a medical.

Barcelona has been searching for a player with the vision and passing talent of Xavi Hernandez since the Spain great left the club after 17 seasons to play in Qatar 2 1/2 years ago.

"I think it was inevitable it was going to happen", McManaman said.

He scored six goals in the last seven games of 2017 to put his side firmly in the Champions League places.

Coutinho made a decision to take advice from his friend, Neymar, and move to Spain instead of returning to Brazil.

Coutinho is expected to watch his new team host Levante on Sunday afternoon at Camp Nou.

Coutinho, who like Neymar is 25, will pick up the baton of rejuvenating Valverde's ageing squad, with serial winners Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Messi all either over or approaching the age of 30.

While it would be understandable to ask why Liverpool would contact Leicester to say they're not interested in Mahrez, as Markham explains in a later tweet, it's most likely a result of the fallout from the Virgil van Dijk situation in the summer.

Liverpool have also been strongly linked with Monaco forward Thomas Lemar, who Arsenal tried to sign before the season.

The midfielder believes a deal is close and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to offer any reassurances about Coutinho's future ahead of the club's FA Cup third-round clash against Everton this morning (Singapore time). Liverpool signed the Dutch defender in a club record deal last week but escaped punishment in June for allegedly tapping him up while he was still at Southampton.

Publically however, Leicester boss Claude Puel has stated his desire to keep the Algeria global at the King Power Stadium, believing the player is happy to see out the remainder of the season at the club.

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