Barcelona's general manager Josep Segura has claimed that the club are 'close' to securing deals for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, as the Catalan giants scramble to secure replacements for Neymar before the transfer deadline.
Paulinho looks set to join summer signings Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo at the Camp Nou on Thursday in a €40m move from Guangzhou Evergrande - but fans of the Catalan club are petitioning for the club to sign at least one true star to replace the €222m Brazilian.
Segura: "we're close to signing Coutinho and Dembele but until it's closed I can't say anything".— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) August 16, 2017
Speaking to TV3 (via Sport), Segura said: "We know that we have to strengthen the team and that's what we will continue to do in the coming days. We have to help the team. We're close [to Coutinho and Dembele], we're talking about the conditions but until everything is finalised, we can't say anything else. We hope they will wear a Barca shirt."
Lionel Messi and co were battered and bruised at the Bernabeu by Real Madrid on Wednesday night in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup, the hosts adding the most comfortable of 2-0 wins to their 3-1 triumph at the Camp Nou thanks to goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema.
The ease with which a Real side without Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale eased past a full-strength Barcelona is unlikely to ease fans' nerves, with the start of the Spanish season just a day away - Alaves travelling to Leganes on Friday night before Barca kick off their own campaign at home to Real Betis on Sunday evening.