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Spanish media claim Coutinho to Barcelona is almost done

Spanish reports claim Liverpool play-maker Philippe Coutinho is close to joining Barcelona.

The long rumoured interest from Barca in the Brazilian international almost saw a summer move come to life, but Anfield bosses held strong and rejected such bids from the Catalan giants.

Further interest have emerged and it is reported that a January bid is being prepared with Barca boss Ernesto Valverde keen to build on his impressive start to both the domestic and European season.

Coutinho, who is set to face England for Brazil this week in an international friendly seemingly put an end to such rumours for the time being, telling reporters: “I’m playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world, I’m always happy.”

But, the former Espanyol man’s comments have not stopped reports by media in Spain from claiming a deal is almost close.

Mundo Deportivo claim a deal worth £22m in salary is all-but agreed.

Barca will look to bolster a number of positions in the January transfer window and have been actively scouting a number of options.

Technical secretary Robert Fernandez was in attendance to watch Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea beat Manchester United a fortnight ago.

Defensive options are reportedly key for the former Athletic Club head coach with veteran defender Javier Mascherano expected to leave for Major League Soccer next summer.

Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti have been mainstays in the Barca starting eleven, but Valverde is keen to add options.

Thomas Vermaelen was included in the Champions League squad last week against Olympiacos but he is also expected to leave like Mascherano, giving Valverde no other options at the back.

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