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Coutinho and Dembele are 'close' to joining Barcelona, claims general manager Segura

Goal.com - 17 hours 19 min ago

The Blaugrana are chasing both players as they look to fill the void left by Neymar's world-record €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain

Barcelona are "close" to completing the double signing of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, general manager Pep Segura has claimed.

The Blaugrana have identified Coutinho, 25, and Dembele, 20, as their key targets as they look to fill the void left by Neymar's world-record €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona evens to win La Liga

Goal reported on Friday that Liverpool are not shifting from their position that Coutinho is not for sale, despite the Brazil international handing in a transfer request.

Liverpool have rejected two bids from Barcelona for Coutinho so far — the last of which totalled €100 million (£91.6m)

However, speaking in the aftermath of the Blaugrana's 5-1 aggregate defeat against Real Madrid in the Super Cup on Thursday, Segura claimed the star duo are edging closer towards Camp Nou.

Messi only thing between Barca and mediocrity

Speaking to RAC1 after the match, he said: "Coutinho and Dembele are both close. We are hopeful that they will end up wearing the Barca shirt."

Segura then told TV 3: "Until deals are closed I can't say anything. We know we have to help the team and reinforce it and that's what we are doing."

It was reported in Spanish publication Sport on Monday that Barcelona had agreed a fee to sign Borussia Dortmund and France forward Dembele.

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Dembele is currently suspended by Dortmund on the back of the Bundesliga outfit rejecting a bid from Barcelona for his services.

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Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (5-1 agg): Spanish Super Cup success for Zidane's side

BBC Sport - 18 hours 7 min ago
Marco Asensio's goal was his third in his last four shots in competitive games - including last season's Champions League final

Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 at the Bernabeu to win the Spanish Super Cup 5-1 on aggregate.

The Spanish and European champions were dominant, even without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.

Marco Asensio, who also scored in the 3-1 first-leg win, gave them an early lead with an excellent 25-yard strike.

And Karim Benzema flicked up Marcelo's cross and turned defender Samuel Umtiti to fire home a second with Barcelona rarely looking like coming back.

Real eased off in the second half, with the cup practically wrapped up, and Barca improved slightly as a result, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hitting the woodwork.

Real looking good again

In less than two years in charge, Zinedine Zidane has led Real to two Champions Leagues, and the 2016-17 La Liga title. And on this performance, they are going to be hard to beat again.

The big story before the game was Ronaldo claiming he was persecuted after being banned for five games - for pushing the referee - after being sent off in the first leg.

Watching from the stands, he was not missed on the pitch, with Zidane also able to leave Isco and Gareth Bale on the bench with Sunday's La Liga opener against Valencia in mind.

But in 21-year-old attacking midfielder Asensio, they have one of Europe's most talented youngsters, and four minutes in, he fired home an excellent shot that left Marc-Andre ter Stegen rooted to the spot.

Benzema added a second with a great two-touch goal, and Real could slow things down after the break, knowing Barcelona did not look capable of scoring four unanswered goals.

Are Barca in trouble?

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will be worried by what he has seen in his two competitive games in charge, having replaced Luis Enrique in the summer.

Having lost Neymar to Paris St-Germain for £200m in the summer, and with their moves for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele unsuccessful so far, they lacked the quality of Barca teams of the past.

Thursday's expected £36m signing of 29-year-old Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho will do little to appease unhappy fans.

With captain Andres Iniesta - now 33 - injured, Messi and Suarez both 30, and Suarez appearing to carry an injury for the final 10 minutes at the Bernabeu, Valverde has some serious problems to address just weeks into the job.

They were slightly better after the break - arguably because Real let them be - and Messi hit the bar after gliding past several defenders, with Suarez smashing the post with a header after Messi's shot was parried.

Barca get their league campaign under way on Sunday at home to Real Betis.

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Jurgen Klopp- Liverpool are not in talks with Barcelona over Philippe Coutinho

LFC Online - 18 hours 9 min ago

The club have rejected two bids from Barcelona, the last 100million euros (£90.9m), and a week ago issued a defiant statement insisting no offers would be considered and the player would remain at the club beyond the summer window.

Coutinho, who is currently sidelined with a back injury, immediately handed in a transfer request and after Wednesday night's Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid Pep Segura, Liverpool's former academy technical manager and now Barcelona's general manager, told Catalan television station TV3: "We are close to Coutinho and (Ousmane) Dembele.

"We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done." Asked if he expected them to sign, he added: "Yes, we expect it."

However, Klopp is adamant there have been no more developments and the two clubs are not even in discussions.

"I saw the game (Real-Barcelona) but I forgot to watch the interviews afterwards

Nothing to say from our side," said the Reds boss.

"I don't know why other people are saying what they are saying; I don't even know them - especially this guy, I've never even met him."

Asked whether there had been any subsequent talks Klopp added: "I am not sure I have to answer this only because we have said what we have to say, or the club said what we have to say.

"No news from me because no-one told me anything different since we spoke last time about this."

There have been suggestions Coutinho could agitate for a move by effectively going on strike but while he is still injured that is impossible.

Klopp was asked about the prospect of this and the Brazil international's general attitude.

"To be honest I have nothing to say about his attitude because since he has had a back problem he has obviously not been in training," he said.

"I asked the medical department how he is doing and there are no complaints so that is how it is

There is nothing bad to say about this.

"We are all not silly

We know it is a very difficult situation but there is nothing new to say.

"It is not always easy for me to say the 100 per cent truth - even though I don't like to like - but it is exactly how I say it because that is how it is in the moment, nothing else."

Source : PA

Source: PA

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Chelsea ready to double Rose's wages - gossip

BBC Sport - 18 hours 28 min ago

For completed deals, check our transfers page.

Transfer news

Tottenham are not expected to entertain offers from Chelsea for full-back Danny Rose, 27, with the Blues ready to double his salary. (Evening Standard)