Date published: Monday 7th August 2017 8:43

That was the claim on Sunday from Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo, who are more trustworthy than the usual outlet because they broke the Neymar to PSG story which looked mental at the time and eventually turned out to be true.  That backs up claims from Spain on Sunday that Philippe Coutinho could be a Barcelona player as early as Tuesday. Officially, the line out of Liverpool is still that Coutinho will remain on Merseyside.

In Spain, they are still claiming that the Coutinho deal is close, though the price of £81m plus add-ons seems a little too cheap to be believable…

According to ESPN in Mexico, Liverpool’s choice of replacement for Coutinho is West Ham attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini.

Manchester United have made a £36m offer for Barcelona’s versatile midfielder Sergi Roberto, according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo. They say that the Catalan club gave a pretty unequivocal answer to the bid: “Sergi Roberto is non-transferable.” Being excellent at both right-back and in central midfield makes him a pretty valuable commodity and Chelsea are also said to be interested.

Both Premier League clubs are likely to fail in their interest, though, with the report continuing: ‘Ernesto Valverde considers him a basic player, different from the other midfield players and believes that he has the profile that the club was looking for with Paulinho , an arrival that has been cooled by the economic conditions demanded by the Chinese club of the Brazilian.’

Well, he doesn’t really have a choice, does he? Short of putting in a transfer request or going on strike – which would destroy his reputation – the Chilean has no choice but to knuckle down after being told by Arsene Wenger that he is absolutely not for sale. But the Daily Mirror claim this as ‘news’, saying: ‘Arsenal have made it clear they will not sell to Manchester City or any other Premier League rival and that has shut down Sanchez’s options.’

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph quotes Arsene Wenger as saying of his massive squad: “To be honest, the number is too high. We will let some players go. Too much competition for places is detrimental, but not enough competition for places is detrimental as well.”

Premier League debutants Brighton are closing in on a £3.5m deal for PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands midfielder Davy Propper…Stoke have agreed a three-year deal for Cameroon forward Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting…Crystal Palace and Everton are interested in a permanent deal for 20-year-old Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman.