Moratti: Move may be great for Coutinho
Published 27/01/2013 | 20:40
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes a move to the Barclays Premier League would represent a "great opportunity" for Philippe Coutinho.
Press Association Sport understands Liverpool have agreed an £8.5million fee with Inter for their Brazilian playmaker, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Southampton. Coutinho, 20, is expected to travel to Liverpool early this week to complete a medical and other formalities, and he goes with Moratti's blessing.
Moratti told inter.it: "There are opportunities there to be seized. Sometimes certain players need the chance to play more. And that's why I think this could be a great opportunity for Coutinho, and a deal that could go very well for us too."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had said on Friday he was still looking to add to his squad with one or two new players before Thursday's transfer deadline.
Rodgers was unwilling to comment on speculation linking the club with Coutinho but it is now understood the club have succeeded with an approach after previous advances were rejected.
Liverpool will also need to apply for a work permit for the player. If the deal is completed, Coutinho would become the club's second signing of this transfer window following the £12million capture of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea.
Rodgers said: "We hope to do some business between now and the end of the month. The owners have been brilliant in supporting (me), we knew we were maybe a little bit short in the summer.
"We all agreed this was a month we would try to reinforce, if we could."
Coutinho came through the youth system at Vasco da Gama before joining Inter at the age of 18. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Espanyol, where he worked with new Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino's recent appointment at Saints led to speculation linking Coutinho with the south coast club but it is understood he has expressed a preference for Anfield.