The hour of truth arrives. Barcelona will take on the final phase of the deal to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the first week of January and hope the operation will be sealed once and for all. The player's agents will head to Europe to complete the signing with a meeting arranged for January 3. A meeting which could be decisive and will determine the player's future.
Barcelona have been advancing in recent months through dilligent negotiations with the player's agents. With the deal sealed with Coutinho since the summer, the Catalans have been trying to bring the price down with Liverpool in the January window. The final price will be around 140 million euros, paid in installments, with no price cuts possible. If Barcelona put that much one the table it will be a set deal despite nothing being signed at the moment.
Barcelona have been in charge of the final timing. They do not want the same thing to happen as in August, when Liverpool cut them off at the end of the window, refusing to negotiate. They want the conditions sorted during the first week of January and hope the deal is possible to seal this time around. If the negotiation is not clear, they may abandon their attempts and plan the market without Coutinho as an option. They want to have sufficient time to find alternatives.
However they are optimistic about sealing a deal for Coutinho. The staff, from Ernesto Valverde to Robert Fernandez and Pep Segura have given the OK in a sporting sense and everything is now in the hands of the executives. Oscar Grau, the club's director general, has taken the reins and is in charge of sorting the operation.