Barcelona chief hints at Coutinho deal

By Isoccer Staff

Barcelona will only sign Philippe Coutinho if the player can arrive this summer, according to the club’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez..

He confirmed the club were in negotiations with one unnamed player but also admitted that the preference was for two to arrive before the European window shuts on Friday.

Asked by Daily Mail if Coutinho could sign now and arrive next season Fernandez said: ‘If Barcelona sign a player then it will be for him to arrive and play now.’

The La Liga giants are understood to be trying to bring both Coutinho and Angel di Maria to the Camp Nou before August 31.

He added: ‘We are negotiating with a player with the possibility that he can arrive. We hope it ends well. We hope to be able to present a new player.

‘One could arrive or two could arrive. We are negotiating. My intention is that another player arrives and if possible two.’

Barcelona have at least landed their first bigger summer signing although Ousmane Dembele said he was not coming to be the new Neymar.

The 20-year-old said: ‘I’m not here to substitute Neymar. Barcelona needed a player in my position and I’m here to help.

‘Neymar is one of the best players in the world and I’m still young it’s only my second season as a professional.’

The French winger should make his debut in 12 days time against Espanyol in the Catalan derby. He said: ‘I’m very excited about being here. I’m not sure that it has sunk in yet but I’m sure it will when I start training with my team-mates.

‘I want to win the maximum number of titles this season and adapt as soon as possible.

‘I can’t wait to play alongside the best players in the world such as Leo Messi and Luis Suarez.

‘Since I was eight I watched Barcelona games. I used to watch the way they played and how they won leagues and Champions Leagues so this is a dream come true for me.’

He promised not to be fazed by his price-tag adding: ‘I’m 20 and I don’t pay much attention to the price tag. I just want to play. I’m two footed. I prefer to dribble with the left and shoot with the right.’

Fernanez was asked why Barcelona did not sign Dembele last season when he would have cost them just 15m euros. He said: ‘We tried last summer but he wanted minutes and we could not convince him.’

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