Liverpool will 'demand' around £130m from Barcelona if the Catalan giants wish to finally lure Philippe Coutinho away from Anfield.
The transfer roulette wheel continues to throw up the Brazilian's move to Camp Nou, with the Guardian the latest newspaper to allege that the Reds will only allow Coutinho to leave for the second highest transfer fee in their history.
Barcelona have reignited their longstanding interest in poaching Coutinho after the winter window opened on New Year's Day, but they will have to fork out £50m more than the fee it took for them to snap up Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund last summer if they wish to land the playmaker.
Coutinho will not be “fit” for the the FA Cup game on Friday vs Everton. On future: LFC’s tone has changed -it seems they are open to all the options. Sell now, sell now for the summer. Keeping him beyond then seems the very last option. But no offer from FBC has arrived... yet pic.twitter.com/rFGyFuXqzF— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 2, 2018
Liverpool rebuffed three bids from La Blaugrana last August for the 25-year-old, with the last of those - believed to be £119m - failing to convince Jurgen Klopp's side to agree to part with their talisman.
The Reds' stance over Coutinho's stay appears to have softened recently, however, with talks between Barcelona and Coutinho's agent Kia Joorabchian having taken place over the past few months in a bit to thrash out a deal.
I’m actually done with this Coutinho lark.....— Ben Webb (@BenWebbLFC) January 2, 2018
What will be, will be.
We’ve played good with, and without him in the team – so I’m getting back into; unbeaten in 16 and smashing the Ev mode.
It’ll be fine.
Coutinho remains determined to ensure a dream switch to Catalonia goes through, but there is no word over whether he will officially refuse to play for Liverpool until a deal is gotten over the line.
(You may also be interested in Report Claims Philippe Coutinho Will Refuse to Play for Liverpool in Hope to Push Barca Deal Through)
The ex-Inter Milan starlet has bagged himself 12 goals in 20 appearances for the Merseysiders this season - form that has put paid to concerns over him downing tools in frustration over his Barca move being blocked - to help Liverpool to fourth in the standings.
Barca are yet to test the waters this month with an official bid, but know they will have to pay a handsome fee to land Coutinho due to the length of his Liverpool contract.
Coutinho penned a new five-year deal with the Reds last year to tie him down until June 2022, and Liverpool will be able to hold out for as much money as possible as a result.