Across the media, one transfer deal stays paramount. Perhaps because of the intensity of chase from the giant buyer, Barcelona. And the seemingly intensity to keep the wanted Brazilian by the trophy hunting Liverpool. So journalists are talking about the potential break down of the fee.
The Times: ‘The two clubs are now in contact, via the player’s representatives, over what would be the third-biggest transfer in history. Barcelona are willing to pay about £106 million as a base figure with the remaining £36 million no longer linked to unrealistic bonus payments — such as for if he won the Ballon d’Or — as was the case in the summer when they had three bids rejected and Liverpool were not willing to sell.
‘Instead they would receive instalments for him making a set number of appearances for Barcelona or the Catalan club winning trophies. Liverpool have made attempts in recent days to persuade Coutinho to stay but their difficulty is that the issue is not about money. Coutinho believes a deal is imminent.’
Liverpool Echo: ‘Liverpool are fighting a losing battle trying to convince Philippe Coutinho to stay at Anfield for the rest of the season. The Reds had hoped that the club’s continued involvement in the Champions League – coupled with an offer to improve his £150,000 per week wages – would persuade the Brazil international to put his dream move to Barcelona on hold until the summer.’
They corroborate The Times’ claim that Coutinho believes a move is ‘imminent’. They say the breakdown in the fee would be £105m up front with £35m in add-ons – again, related to appearances and trophies instead of Ballon d’Or Wins.
The Guardian: ‘Liverpool have yet to receive an official bid from the Spanish league leaders in this window but are braced for Barcelona’s fourth offer in total, having rejected three approaches last summer. The Anfield club have in mind a base figure of around €150m (£133m) for the Brazil international and Barcelona’s determination to sign Coutinho in January is expected to surpass that figure. Jürgen Klopp, with the backing of Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owner, will then have to decide whether a sale is beneficial to his club.’
The offer Barcelona made in the summer is described as ‘insufficient to break Liverpool’s resolve’. It was of €130m (£115m) in total, but €40m (£35m) in add-ons. Coutinho ‘is increasingly hopeful that the proposed terms will break the impasse’.
Daily Telegraph: ‘Liverpool are not chasing replacements at this stage – they have made no contact with Monaco regarding summer target Thomas Lemar – and are focusing on convincing Coutinho he can achieve Champions League ambitions at Anfield in 2018. At the moment, they are not succeeding in persuading him.’
Goal: ‘There was a possibility of doing an advanced deal now ahead of 2018-19, but Barca and the 25-year-old are insistent on an immediate transfer.’
It is described as a matter of ‘when rather than if’ a deal is done. There has been a ‘noticeable’ change in Liverpool’s stance, too. And even offers of ‘multiple incentives and a greater wage packet’ cannot persuade Coutinho, who is ‘grateful to the club for helping him develop into a pedigreed performer,’ but cannot ignore Barcelona’s interest.
Duncan Castles, The Transfer Window Podcast: “Philippe Coutinho’s price is going down in value in this window. I think it was at its peak in the summer when Barcelona were willing to pay 150 million euros, they now don’t want to pay more than 100 million.”
Castles adds that “maybe PSG” would be interested at such a price, but no other club would make a move. Which is why Coutinho “is worried his moment has passed,” and is pushing for a move this January.
The Sun, who obviously have absolutely no contacts on Merseyside, say that Jurgen Klopp ‘has pinpointed Coutinho’s successor,’ with Leon Goretzka of Schalke the individual in question.