Liverpool are understood to be furious with Barcelona after they publicly declared their intentions to try and sign Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window.
The Reds rejected three approaches from the La Liga giants during the summer, with their third reported to have been £114.2million. However, reports this week have suggested the Reds have a gentleman’s agreement in place to allow the Brazilian to make the move in January, while Barca CEO Oscar Grau on Wednesday confirmed their plans to bid for the player in the winter market.
“We are ready to sign Coutinho or any other player the technical staff request in the winter window,” Grau said.
“We want to have the most competitive squad possible. The club will be sustainable, we don’t want losses. If that is the case, we will look for means to generate income.”
Liverpool were forced to email Barcelona over the summer to ask them to stop their public courtship of the player and reports in Thursday’s papers claim the Reds have been angered once again by Barcelona’s latest attempts to distract the player.
With the Reds without another of their key men, Sadio Mane, for Saturday’s clash with Manchester United, Liverpool were hoping for a distraction-free week in the build-up to the game.
But Barcelona’s latest attempts to woo Coutinho appear to have put an end to that.
While their stance regarding the player remains officially unchanged with the club adamant they will not part with him midway through a season, Coutinho is still understood to be keen on a move to Spain.
Barcelona may have to get closer to Liverpool’s £183m valuation if they are to sign the player, but until that happens, Liverpool could well do without the distraction as they prepare for their biggest match of the season so far.