According to a report from Brazilian journalist Marcelo Bechler, Barcelona ‘expect’ to confirm the signature of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool within the next 3 days.
Barca’s chase of Coutinho was one of the talking points of the summer transfer window, with Liverpool having rejected a number of big-money bids from the Catalans for their South American star.
Jurgen Klopp and co. remained adamant throughout the saga that Coutinho was not for sale at any price, with the attacking midfielder’s dream move to the Camp Nou failing to materialise by the close of the transfer window.
However, it is widely expected, in both England and Spain, that the Blaugrana will return for Liverpool’s star man when the winter transfer market opens tomorrow, with a number of reports over recent weeks having suggested that the Reds may not stand in Coutinho’s way once again.
And reports of an imminent transfer for the Brazilian to the Camp Nou came to the fore in a major way late last night, after an incredible leak on Nike’s Barcelona section of their website, which advertised Blaugrana jerseys with Coutinho on the back.
WOW: The Nike store has been updated to accommodate Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Barcelona!
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) December 31, 2017
There has not yet been an explanation forthcoming for exactly why this option suddenly became available to users on Nike’s site, with the only realistic options being either that Barca’s kit manufacturers have simply jumped the gun and announced Coutinho’s transfer early, or that hackers managed to change the information on the site.
While large sections of Liverpool’s fans have simply brushed off last night’s events as little more than a prank on the part of a group of gifted hackers, a report published by respected Brazilian journalist Marcelo Bechler this evening has certainly provided very real cause for concern amongst the Reds faithful:
Amanhã se abre o mercado e chegará uma proposta oficial do Barcelona ao Liverpool. Donos norte-americanos deverão responder ainda dia 1 ou 2. Dia 3 tudo deverá ser fechado. Para saída ou não. Isso é o que eles projetam e esperam.
— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) December 31, 2017
This post claims that an official offer for Coutinho will arrive from Barcelona tomorrow, with the Calatan giants fully expectant that a deal to take the South American to the Camp Nou will be completed within 3 days.
It should be noted that Bechler is a highly-regarded journalist, and that he was the first to break the story that Neymar would be joining PSG from Barcelona during the summer.