Liverpool have seemingly given up in their attempts to keep Philippe Coutinho from joining Barcelona after identifying West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini as a possible replacement for the Brazil international. The departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain has intensified the Catalans' efforts to improve their squad ahead of the new campaign, and are on the brink of confirming three new additions.
Mundo Deportivo - a publication based in Barcelona - claim Barca will use the €222m [£195m] recouped from the departure of Neymar to finance moves for Coutinho, Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and Inigo Martinez of Real Sociedad. The newspaper adds that Ernesto Valverde's side are "at the ready" to complete the deals with less than two weeks to go until their opening game of the season against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup final.
Two recent developments are said to have brought Coutinho's move to Barcelona closer. Liverpool have omitted the 25-year-old from their squad for their final pre-season friendly in Dublin against Athletic Bilbao with a back injury. Captain Jordan Henderson has also not travelled due to illness while Daniel Sturridge is out after picking up an injury in the Audi Cup win over Bayern Munich.
Furthermore, manager Jurgen Klopp is understood to have identified Argentina international Lanzini as the player to step into the void if and when Coutinho departs. The Sun claim that West Ham are hoping to tie down Lanzini, who scored eight goals in 39 appearances in all competitions last term, to a new contract to warn off interest despite his current deal still having three years to run.
Coutinho's agent Giuliano Bertolucci is said to be waiting for Liverpool's official response to a second Barcelona bid for the playmaker which totals €100m [£90m, €117m], but the latest offer is expected to be considered by the Reds. Publicly, Klopp has been adamant amid the speculation regarding his star turn that Coutinho will not be leaving and that any approach would be a waste of time.
"If you say he is not available to be sold, where is the interpretation?" said the ex-Dortmund boss this week. "The word 'not' means there is no interpretation. There is nothing new." Liverpool have made three signings this summer, including winger Mohamed Salah, but losing Coutinho would be a significant blow in their attempts to build on qualifying for the Champions League for just the second time in eight seasons.
The addition of Coutinho is said to represent just one third of Barcelona's attempts to react to the loss of Neymar's shock switch to PSG. Dortmund forward Dembele, who only joined the club last summer, has spoken of his desire to move to the Nou Camp and his parent club are seemingly ready to sanction his departure. The France international is likely to be joined by Martinez, who by personal request by manager Valverde is braced to leave Sociedad to improve the club's defence.