Lionel Messi has been informed that Barcelona will press ahead with plans to sign Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window.
Don Balon has claimed that the legendary Blaugrana player was told before his side's 2-0 Champions League win over Sporting that a fresh approach would be made for the Liverpool star ahead of the winter window opening on 1st January.
Reports in Spain had suggested that Messi had asked Barca to end their interest in Coutinho and instead look to bring in a new defender to bolster Ernesto Valverde's first-team squad.
Those pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears, however, with Barcelona telling their superstar of their desire to reignite their interest in landing the Brazil international.
Messi is believed to have a greater say in which transfer targets Barcelona try to sign after he penned a new lucrative four-and-a-half year contract to stay at Nou Camp.
A secret clause in his deal allows the 30-year-old to offer his opinion on who the Catalan giants should attempt to lure to Spain's north eastern region and, with Barca planning to bring Coutinho in, offered his verdict on that particular chase.
Messi wants Barcelona to drop their interest in signing @LFC's Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho, 25, in favour of recruiting a defender instead. (Diario Gol via Express)— Premier League News (@BarclaysLeague) December 5, 2017
Barcelona, though, will push on to try and convince both Liverpool and Coutinho to part ways next month as they look to tempt the Reds with an offer in excess of £135m.
Liverpool rejected three bids from Valverde's team for their star playmaker in the summer and are dead set against allowing Coutinho to leave. The 25-year-old had his heart set on a switch to the continent, but has knuckled down and still performed at his best levels for Jurgen Klopp's team despite his desire to leave.
Barcelona want a quick deal done between all parties to ensure that they don't have to pay over the odds if Coutinho has an outstanding World Cup for Brazil next summer.
Paris Saint-Germain's supposed interest in Coutinho could also hike any potential price up, and Barca will want to snap him up as quickly as possible to prevent a bidding war breaking out.