Liverpool agree £142 million deal to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

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Barcelona appear to have finally succeeded in their long pursuit of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Reports in both Spain and the UK suggest a British record fee of £142 million – with £105m up front – has been agreed for the Brazil international.

That would be a considerable increase on the £118m which the Catalan club offered and had rejected in August when they made their third unsuccessful bid of the summer.

The 25-year-old, who has not played since the transfer window opened because of a thigh problem, did not travel with the squad for their warm weather training camp in Dubai.

It is now claimed he is travelling to Spain on Saturday night ahead of his presentation on Sunday.

Speculation has been growing about a renewed bid for several days after Coutinho’s bid to force a move in the summer by handing in a transfer request failed to provoke a response.

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Guangzhou Evergrande lining up €72 million bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

niall 6/01/2018
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With the transfer window now open the rumour mill is in overdrive, so with that in mind, we take a look at the top stories doing the rounds in the media today.

AUBAMEYANG TO MOVE TO CHINA?

Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to join Guangzhou Evergrande for €72 million, according to reports.

Spanish outlet AS claim the Gabon international will be latest high-profile name to join the Chinese Super League next summer.

Everton, Chelsea, Liverpool and AC Milan have all been linked but Dortmund are desperate to keep hold of their prized asset who has scored 22 goals in 27 matches in all competitions this term.

RATING: 5/10

VERDICT

Although the transfer fee and salary in question would be difficult for any player to turn down, it is unlikely Aubameyang will want to leave the Westfalenstadion for the Far East.

The club has resisted all suitors for their star forward – and unless it’s a significant offer from a strong European club, it is doubtful the 28-year-old will want to swap the Bundesliga for China.

FOUR PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS TARGET MAREGA

Tottenham, Chelsea, Brighton and Leicester are all monitoring the progress of Porto striker Moussa Marega, according to Foot Mercato.

The Malian striker has been in instrumental form in the Portuguese top flight this term, scoring 12 goals in 15 matches.

Porto do not wish to sell their star centre forward who has a release clause of €40 million.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Although Marega has been impressive this season, his chances of game time at Brighton and Leicester would be better given how settled Chelsea and Tottenham’s attacking options are.

At 26, he needs consistent playing time therefore sitting on a bench at Wembley Stadium or Stamford Bridge would only curtail his development.

Brighton are in desperate need to sign an attacker of his calibre as they have struggled in front of goal this season, with their top scorer Glenn Murray (34) netting just six goals in 20 matches.

Leicester City are also looking to bolster their sparkling attacking front line that includes Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani – with the latter expected to leave the club next summer.

FBL-POR-LIGA-PORTO-MARITIMO

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Carlos Tevez leaves China to join Boca Juniors for third stint

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Former Manchester United and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez agreed a move back to boyhood club Boca Juniors on Friday after 12 months in Chinese football with Shanghai Shenhua, the Argentine team announced.

“Tevez is coming home! He joined the team today and is already training with his teammates,” Boca said on its various social media accounts alongside a photo of the player working out in a gym.

It will be the 33-year-old’s third spell at Boca Juniors.

He was pictured in the gym wearing a Boca team shirt although the club did not reveal the value of the transfer.

Argentine news agency Telam had said earlier that Tevez had already negotiated what jersey he will wear at the Buenos Aires club – number 32.

Tevez joined Shenhua in January last year on an estimated 730,000 euros a week salary, making him one of the world’s highest-paid players.

A spokesman for Shenhua confirmed to AFP Friday that the club had been in talks with the globetrotting Argentine to end his contract.

Carlos Tevez on his arrival to Shanghai las year.

Tevez scored only four goals in the Chinese championship during an injury-marred season in which he missed the Chinese Cup Final which his team won.

He was not in the squad for either leg of the final against Shanghai SIPG and flew back to Argentina just as his side lifted the trophy.

Tevez, who has often found it difficult to settle anywhere, saw his time in China unravel quickly.

He arrived in Shanghai a year ago to a hero’s welcome and was touted as a symbol of football’s fast rise in the country.

But he soon fell out of favour with Shenhua fans who questioned his fitness and commitment.

He earned the unflattering nickname “Very Homesick Boy”, a nod to past antics of jetting home to Argentina in times of strife, and he was accused of being overweight when new coach Wu Jingui took over at struggling Shenhua in September.

Wu later said that Tevez was working hard of his own volition to get fit and shed the bulk, but that did nothing to earn him a recall for the FA Cup final.

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