Sports

Today’s Gossip: Coutinho Nears Barca Switch; Latest On Sanchez

Barca ‘have Coutinho deal in the bag’ Barcelona, awash with cash following the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germai…

Barca ‘have Coutinho deal in the bag’
Barcelona, awash with cash following the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, have been linked with Philippe Coutinho for weeks — and now they believe they have his signature “in the bag,” according to a report in the Sun.

It reports that Barca “are confident of landing the Liverpool playmaker in a £90 million deal this week” and believe they can do so despite the Anfield club having already rejected a bid of over £70 million.

The Liga giants “are preparing a fresh five-year deal” for Coutinho despite Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp having stressed he is not for sale, with the Sun saying Klopp “faces a battle” to keep his biggest star, who missed the weekend friendly win over Athletic Bilbao with a back problem.

Meanwhile, the Mirror reports that Liverpool are set to abandon their interest in Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and “put their trust in the current centre-backs to provide the backbone in a title-challenging team.”

Van Dijk is reported to remain keen to move to Anfield, but the Merseysiders could opt not to pursue a transfer that would potentially cost as much as £60 million.

Sanchez set to see out Arsenal contract
After a summer during which one of the most recurrent sagas has been that of whether or not Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal, the Mirror reports that a conclusion has finally been reached — and Sanchez will be staying.

It says the Chile international “is ready to accept Arsenal’s hard-line stance and see out the final year of his contract.”

The news comes after Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had stressed that Sanchez was not going to be leaving, with the club running the risk that he could leave on a free transfer when his transfer expires next year.

The attacker has been strongly linked with both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, but the Mirror says he is “dropping hints to teammates and friends that he is resigned to staying and leaving as a free agent — when he is likely to get an even more lucrative contract.”

PSG’s eyebrow-raising move for Neymar, the report says, “appears to have ended the French club’s realistic chance of getting Sanchez.”

Meanwhile, the Telegraph says we should expect more departures as Community Shield winners Arsenal trim their squad.

Striker Olivier Giroud continues to interest big-spending Everton, with England midfielder Jack Wilshere, on loan at Bournemouth last season, another who could leave North London before the start of the Premier League season.

Others
Barcelona will offer Liverpool £120m to sign Brazil attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 25, following the sale of compatriot Neymar to Paris St-Germain. (Daily Star)

Despite Reds boss Jurgen Klopp saying Coutinho will not be sold, Barcelona are increasingly confident of finalising a deal this week – potentially even for £90m. (Sun)

The Spanish side could also use some of the funds from Neymar’s transfer to target PSG and Germany attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, 23, whose agent has been spotted in Barcelona. (Bild – in German)

Klopp is prepared to give up his pursuit of Southampton and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk, 26, and put his trust in his current centre-backs. (Mirror)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says more players will be leaving the Gunners before the end of the transfer window because the squad is too big. (Telegraph)

But Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, is ready to accept Arsenal’s refusal to sell him and will see out the final year of his contract before leaving on a free transfer next year. (Mirror)

Barcelona have agreed a contract with 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund and France forward Ousmane Dembele but now have to agree a fee with the German club, whose asking price will be close to 100m euros (£90.2m). (L’Equipe – in French)

The Catalan club are also in advanced talks to sign Brazil and former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, 29, from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. (Sport – in Spanish)

Manchester City midfielder David Silva, 31, has started negotiating a move to Spanish side Las Palmas in his native Gran Canaria, but only for when his contract at the Etihad expires in 2019. (Elgoldigital, via AS)

Stoke have agreed a three-year deal for Cameroon forward Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, 28, who is out of contract at German side Schalke and will join on a free transfer. (Daily Mail)

Premier League debutants Brighton are closing in on a £3.5m deal for PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands midfielder Davy Propper, 25. (Daily Mail)

Everton boss Ronald Koeman says the Toffees are close to securing a deal for 27-year-old Swansea and Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. (Sky Sports)

Leicester City have rejected a third bid – this time of around 35m euros (£31.6m) – from Roma for Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, 26. (Sky Sport Italia, via Talksport)

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 28, says he held talks with the Borussia Dortmund board about leaving this summer but is now happy to stay at the Bundesliga side. (Welt – in German)

Crystal Palace and Everton are interested in a permanent deal for 20-year-old Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman, who is expected to go out on loan this season. (Chronicle)

Sunderland insist they have got a higher fee for 29-year-old midfielder Jeremain Lens from Besiktas than the £4m reported by Turkish media. (Chronicle)

Chelsea are ready to challenge Manchester United for the signature of Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, who will cost about £90m. (Express)

Chelsea, Manchester United and Monaco are all interested in a move for 25-year-old Barcelona full-back Sergi Roberto, who could be available for 40m euros (£36.1m). (Don Balon – in Spanish)

Having lost Nemanja Matic to Manchester United against his wishes, Blues boss Antonio Conte admits he cannot prevent the club selling Belgium winger Eden Hazard, with Barcelona interested in the 26-year-old. (Star)