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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Barcelona 'ready to sign Coutinho' in January as chief executive Oscar Grau insists 'we have the money'

Catalan club will not give up on signing Liverpool's Brazilian star player

Philippe Coutinho remains a Barcelona transfer target. Paul Ellis / AFP
Philippe Coutinho remains a Barcelona transfer target. Paul Ellis / AFP

Barcelona are planning a fresh assault on Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window, the Catalan club's chief executive Oscar Grau promised on Wednesday.

Barca were thwarted in their attempt to prise Coutinho away from Anfield during the summer with Liverpool placing a reported €200 million (Dh870.4m) asking price on the midfielder.

Despite the player trying to engineer a move, Liverpool turned down his late transfer request during the close season window.

But Grau made clear the Spanish giants had not given up the chase.

"We are ready to sign Coutinho, or any other player [during the winter transfer window]," he said.

"We have the money," Grau added, confirming the club's announcement in July of record income of €708m for 2016/17 with an after-tax profit of €18m.

Grau added: "The most important thing is the demands from the management, and we will do everything possible to meet them. We want to have the most competitive team possible."

Barca experienced a tumultuous time during the summer transfer market, losing Coutinho's compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222m, and bringing in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for €105m.

But Dembele has endured a nightmare start to life at the Camp Nou. The France international suffered a hamstring injury on his full Primera Liga debut ruling him out until January at the earliest.