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Barcelona general manager Pep Segura says signings of Coutinho and Dembele ‘close’

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (PA)
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (PA)

BARCELONA general manager Pep Segura has said the signings of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele are “close” after watching his side lose to arch-rivlas Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final.

Liverpool have remained adamant that Brazilian playmaker Coutinho – who has submitted a transfer request – will not be sold in this transfer window while Borussia Dortmund suspended Dembele after the forward failed to show for training amid links with Barcelona.

However, Segura expressed confidence deals for both players could be done before the transfer window closes.

“We are close to Coutinho and Dembele,” he said on Catalan television station TV3. “We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done.”

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Asked if he expected them to sign, he added: “Yes, we expect it.”

Reports in Spain on Wednesday suggested Barca had agreed a fee with Dortmund for French winger Dembele.

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Barca are looking to replace Neymar following his shock world record transfer to Paris St Germain, and their need for reinforcements was apparent as they lost 2-0 to Madrid on Wednesday night, completing a 5-1 aggregate loss to the Spanish and European champions.

“We know we have to strengthen this team and that is what we are doing,” Segura added. “We have to help the team”.