While the Coutinho-to-Barcelona rumours continue to swirl, Gab Marcotti explains why the deal should be made in the summer.

Liverpool have reached an agreement with Barcelona for the sale of Philippe Coutinho, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

Multiple reports in both Spain and England suggest the two clubs have agreed a fee of £142 million (€160m, $192.7m), with Liverpool receiving £105m up-front and the rest in add-ons.

That figure would make Coutinho the second-most expensive player in world football, behind Neymar, who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Liverpool rejected three offers for Coutinho from the Catalan outfit last summer, with the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, then holding a firm not-for-sale stance.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan will miss out on a huge financial windfall as they did not insert a sell-on clause when they sold Coutinho to Liverpool in January 2013, a source told ESPN FC in August.

Instead, the Italian side, along with Vasco da Gama — where the 25-year-old began his footballing career — believe they are only in line to receive a very small percentage of the transfer fee under FIFA’s solidarity mechanism.

The solidarity payment amounts to just five percent of the agreed transfer fee, with the buying club withholding that figure and then distributes it among clubs who qualify for payment.

The full five percent would not be allocated between Inter and Vasco, with Liverpool having Coutinho on their books since he was 20 years of age.

ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden contributed to this report.

Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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