FC Barcelona have issued Liverpool an imminent deadline to accept their latest bid for Philippe Coutinho or they will withdraw their offer for the Brazilian, according to Guillem Balague.
Liverpool rejected a third bid of £114m for Coutinho on Friday afternoon and insist they have no intention of selling the 25-year-old this summer.
Barcelona are keen to sign reinforcements after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and have highlighted both Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele as potential replacements at Camp Nou.
However, after seeing a number of bids rejected by Liverpool, Barcelona have now issued the Reds a deadline of 7pm on Sunday afternoon to accept their latest offer, according to Balague.
“We reported on Friday that Liverpool had rejected the third offer from Barcelona and an email was sent back [to Liverpool] from Barcelona saying, ‘okay, you rejected that – if you don’t accept it I must tell you that there is a deadline of today, Sunday – 7pm. Otherwise we withdraw the offer’,” said Balague.
“I think Liverpool have got no intention of answering that email from Barcelona, which in theory means that’s the end of that.
“That’s the end of the story of Coutinho moving to Barcelona. You never know in football of course but if Barcelona are true to their word they will withdraw the offer tonight because Liverpool have got no intention of selling.”
Barcelona have made more headway in their pursuit of Dembele with Dortmund already admitting they are willing to sell the France international for the right price.
Nice midfielder Jean Seri is also expected to the join the five-time European champions in the coming days as Ernesto Valverde looks to build his own squad at the Camp Nou.
“They have known for a while that Liverpool don’t want to negotiate,” said Balague. “In fact, Liverpool have not sat down at the negotiating table all summer, they had no intention of it as they said publically.
“Barcelona have had to start looking elsewhere. They’ve looked at [Jean] Seri, the midfielder from Nice, someone they want to put their money on and of course [Ousmane] Dembele.
“They have the impression that Dembele is a possibility, and if they go for Dembele and Seri they won’t actually have the money to sign anybody else anyway.”
Spanish Football Expert