Barcelona remain hopeful of securing a deal with Liverpool for Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez confirmed as the club presented 105 million euro ($125 million, Sh12.5 billion) capture Ousmane Dembele on Monday.
The Catalans have until Friday when the Spanish transfer window closes to agree a deal for Coutinho, who hasn’t played for Liverpool since submitting a transfer request to try and force through a move earlier this month.
“In the few days that remain we hope to reach an agreement and be able to present a new player,” said Fernandez when asked how negotiations for Coutinho were developing.
“We know the profile and above all the position of the player we want, and we need to improve with the departures there have been.”
Barca have been forced into a last minute shopping spree after Neymar’s decision to leave the club for a world record 222 million euros earlier this month.
Dembele, whose fee could yet rise to 145 million euros depending on add-ons related to his performance, became Barca’s fifth signing of the summer on Friday after Marlon Santos, Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo and Paulinho.
And Fernandez admitted his intention is for two more players to arrive at the Camp Nou before Friday.
“My intention is that another player will come, if possible two,” he added.
However, Fernandez categorically ruled out a move for Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri.
The Ivorian blasted Nice in an explosive interview with Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo on Monday, claiming the club had reneged on a deal to sell him to Barca by upping their asking price due to interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
“He is totally ruled out,” said Fernandez.
“He is a player with excellent conditions, but, having analysed things, the priority is other positions.”
“I’m not here to replace Neymar,” said the Frenchman.