Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms with Barcelona over a move to La Liga this summer, according to Catalan Radio RAC1.
It still leaves the Spanish side with the huge task of completing a deal with Liverpool who reportedly rejected an opening offer from Barcelona of 80m euros (£72m) for the Brazilian playmaker last week.
Liverpool only agreed a new deal with Coutinho last season until 2022 and the 25-year-old remains a central part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the coming campaign.
Barcelona directors travelled to London on Tuesday to tie things up with the player’s representatives and they will now go back to Liverpool with an improved offer.
The Catalan club’s urgency to bring in Coutinho is linked to a desire to make Neymar change his mind about leaving Barcelona although a Coutinho transfer could still happen regardless of whether Neymar stays at the Camp Nou.
The two players were friends as youth team players and one of Neymar’s gripes at Barcelona – and one of the key reasons why he has sought a move away from Spain this summer – is a feeling of being the last Brazilian standing at the Camp Nou.
He wants the club to sign Brazilian players and publicly backed a move for Coutinho in the middle of last season.
Barcelona fear Liverpool could hold out for as much as 100m euros (£89.5m) for Coutinho who played for Barcelona’s city rivals Espanyol before moving to Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013.
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