Barcelona and Liverpool representatives are expected to meet next week to discuss a potential January deal for Philippe Coutinho, reports talkSPORT.
The 25-year-old, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in January 2013, was subject to multiple bids from Barcelona over the summer. The Reds rejected every approach, however, and have insisted Coutinho will not be sold.
But according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona aren’t giving up in their pursuit of the Brazilian forward and have asked the player’s agent, Kiavash Joorabchian, to start negotiations.
He will meet with Liverpool next week, with the end goal to have agreed a deal for Coutinho that will see him move to the Camp Nou in January. The price tag could be around the £102m mark in total, including add-ons.
TalkSPORT report that Liverpool have promised the Brazilian that he can leave in January if the price is right. He’s now regarded as one of Europe’s best players in his position and will be hard for the Reds to replace, which may be why they were so reticent to let him go in the past.
His sale would also hamper Liverpool’s top-four hopes this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently sitting two points outside the Champions League spots after eight games. In the Premier League, he’s since made four consecutive starts, having previously missed out to an apparent back injury.
Coutinho did represent Brazil at the same time he was missing out for Liverpool, so people had speculated that the injury claims may not have been true and instead the transfer rumours had affected him. He remains a Liverpool player for the time being, but his future could be decided next week.