Real Madrid offered £177m to hijack Philippe Coutinho £146m deal to Barcelona’

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Real Madrid were reportedly ready to offer Liverpool £177m for midfielder Philippe Coutinho before he agreed to join their arch-rivals Barcelona.

Coutinho will complete his £146m switch to the Camp Nou today, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract which will keep him at the club until 2023.

However, Mundo Deportivo reports that Madrid were considering an audacious late bid to hijack the deal for the Brazilian, and were even willing to offer Liverpool an extra £21m to beat Barca to his signature.

It is unclear whether Madrid were serious about bringing Coutinho to the Bernabeu, were looking to slow down the transfer process or were trying to hike the price tag up even further for their bitter rivals.

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Coutinho is only thought to have been interested in joining Barcelona, though, describing the switch as a “dream come true”.

The 25-year-old spent five years at Anfield, scoring 54 goals in 201 appearances for Liverpool during that time.

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