Barcelona Will Continue Pursuit of Philippe Coutinho Despite £36.5m Signing of Paulinho

Sunday August 13th, 2017

Barcelona are continuing their pursuit of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho despite having signed Paulinho for £36.5m from Guangzhou Evergrande, the Daily Mail have reported.

The Catalan club are also reportedly looking to include midfielder Andre Gomes, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's Spanish Super Cup first leg against Real Madrid, in the deal to sign Coutinho.

Paulinho's arrival at the Nou Camp means that Gomes' departure is increasingly likely, after the latter struggled to make an impact in his first season for the club.

Barcelona are determined to land Coutinho, despite Liverpool's adamant refusal that he will not be sold, and could use Gomes as a potential deal sweetener.

But with the Reds refusing to negotiate even at £100m, and Borussia Dortmund asking for £130m for winger Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona are concerned that they will not be able to sign both players.

The £198m sale of Neymar has significantly bolstered the club's transfer budget, but some of that money could be used on renovating the Nou Camp and coach Ernesto Valverde is believed to be looking to sign a centre-back.

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

Coutinho handed in a transfer request on Friday which Liverpool turned down, but he is believed to be hopeful that a deal will be negotiated between the two clubs.

Liverpool have reportedly been aware of Coutinho's desire to move to Catalonia all summer, and have been warned by his advisers that denying him the transfer could destabilise the dressing room.

The former Inter midfielder signed a new five-year-deal with the club in January, and said at the time: “I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it’s a great honour for me and it shows my happiness here.”

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