Josep Maria Bartomeu has taken control of Operation Coutinho. The Barcelona president has publically spoken about the need to improve if the club want to win the Champions League and now, with one month until the transfer window opens, he's assumed responsibility.
The club have the numbers on the table but there are two problems: On one side, Liverpool will not sell for any price, while on the other, Barça current wage bill is too high.
Liverpool have already opened the door to a January sale. And now's the moment. It's one of the biggest deals Bartomeu will have to do, who can count on the help of CEO Oscar Grau.
Barcelona are ready to pay more than they spent on Ousmane Dembele. SPORT have learned that their first offer will be around 130 million euros (variables included) even though they're aware they may need to go about 150 million.
The agreement with Coutinho remains the same as in the summer: 14 million net per season, placing him in the second tier of top-earners at Camp Nou.
With a high wage bill, the arrival of the Brazilian would push Barça to the limit. Therefore, three players would need to leave. Top of the list is Arda Turan, who earns around 8.5 million euros.
Barça have the operation designed to sign Coutinho, but there's a long way to go and no one knows what ending to expect.