Barcelona hurried their signing of the Brazilian sensation Gustavo Maia from Sao Paulo in order to beat competition from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and fellow La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.
Blaugrana have reportedly agreed to pay an initial sum of just under £1 million and then a further £3.2 million to secure a 70 per cent ownership of the 19-year-old ace.
The club weren’t considering completing the deal until later but Spanish outlet Marca report that the management rushed it through amid the emergence of competition from the Reds and Los Rojiblancos.
The sought-after player’s entourage Nilson Moura said: ‘The person who saw him was a scout from Barcelona.
‘We started talking and that possibility of trying to bring him up arose. Andre Cury had no participation. Negotiation went directly with the club.
‘They did not even intend to close anything now but since there was interest from other clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, they hurried.’
A report by AS claimed that Barcelona were due to pay the initial fee last week but had been delayed because of adjustments in their finances during the postponement of the sport during the coronavirus outbreak.
However, this isn’t expected to see the deal collapse with the Catalan heavyweights set to secure majority ownership.
Sao Paulo will retain a 30 per cent ownership of the attacker. He has a contract with the club until the summer of 2022 and has played in Brazil’s U16 and U17 squad.
Meantime, Liverpool have ‘zero interest’ in bringing Brazil international Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield, according to the Mirror’s David Maddock.
The South American departed Anfield back in the winter of 2018, making a big-money move to Barcelona.
Life in Spain has not exactly panned out in the way Philippe had hoped, however, and the star is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.
Despite rumours connecting the 27-year-old playmaker with a Liverpool reunion, Maddock has ruled out a transfer happening in the summer.