Coutinho was already heavily linked with Barcelona during the summer transfer window. Getty


  • Oscar Grau says that some Barcelona players could be sold to fund new arrivals.
  • Club chief insisted that Lionel Messi has already signed a new long-term deal to continue at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau has claimed that the club are "financially ready" to sign Philippe Coutinho but the technical staff will have the final say over whether it is necessary to bring in the Liverpool star or any other player during the coming January transfer window.

Grau also reiterated that Lionel Messi has already signed a new long-term deal at the Nou Camp with the club just waiting for the right time to make if official.

The La Liga giants already broke the bank during the summer transfer window to make four additions to Ernesto Valverde's ranks in the form of club record signing Ousmane Dembele, Paulinho, Nelson Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu.

Yet, they also desperately tried to sign Coutinho from Liverpool after having previously lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a stunning €222m (£199m, $262m) world record transfer.

Barcelona eventually made multiple offers to sign the Brazilian ace and only abandoned the pursuit on deadline day after the Merseysiders asked them to pay €200m to complete the transfer.

Mundo Deportivo recently claimed that the Catalans have not given up on signing Coutinho and will launch a new offer worth €80m plus €30m in add-ons to complete his signing in January – despite Liverpool rejected the same package in the summer.

On Wednesday morning (11 October) the Spanish publication added that in the summer Liverpool promised Coutinho that they will negotiate his transfer to Barcelona if the Catalans return with a reasonable offer.

And Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau has now added more fuel to the saga after claiming that the club are prepared to make a big investment in Coutinho or any other player if the technical staff considers it necessary.

"We are prepared to sign Coutinho or other players but the proposal has to come from the technical staff. We will do our best to meet their demands," Grau said during a press conference in which he revealed a club record budget for the 2017-2018 campaign of €897m.

Yet, the club CEO admitted that Barcelona might need to cash in on some players to fund such an investment – although pointing that they will have time to do so until the summer as the financial year won't end until July.

"If there are arrival maybe there will be also departures. We are putting all the resources of the club [to improve the squad]. We could [sign in January]. We will study it if it necessary. The financial year runs until July so sales can also be made at the end of the season. If this is the case [If Barcelona sign players in January] we have to generate income and maybe someone have to leave. We will see it."

Meanwhile, the Barcelona CEO has once again played down the concerns of the fans over Messi's long-term future at the club.

The Argentinian has enjoyed another impressive start to the campaign, scoring 14 goals for Barcelona in only 11 games. However, his future at the club has come under question in recent times as he is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal announced by the club On 5 July.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reiterated that the announcement is only a formality, with Messi's father having already signed the agreement.

Asked about that, Grau added: "Messi has renewed his contract. The fan already know it and we will look for the right date to make a protocol event to announce it."