Liverpool's owner John Henry reportedly made a last ditch attempt to convince Philippe Coutinho to recommit his future at Anfield by offering the Brazilian a new contract with improved terms.
The 25-year-old has been firmly in the sights of Barcelona since the summer, with the midfield maestro subject to three bids from the Spanish giants which were all strongly turned down by Liverpool.
According to Mundo Deportivo, via Sport Witness, Liverpool have been 'desperate' in their attempts to get Coutinho to sign another contract at the club as their charm offensive has included offering him the captain's armband at times this season and a bumper new pay packet.
However, it is understood that Coutinho is thankful for the Reds' 'interest and affection' but has once again stated his desire to join Barcelona. The Spanish outlet has claimed the Brazil international is not interested in the money as he has agreed to take a pay cut to secure his dream move.
#LFC I'd like to see #FSG offer Coutinho a big fat new contract. Something the lad would find it hard to say no too. Because for me that would show and shut up fans that the VVD purchase does not come from the sale of— Pete LFC4LIFE Taylor (@Pete_au4271) December 28, 2017
Coutinho but a real statement of intent for success.
With Coutinho continually reiterating his desire to join Barcelona, Liverpool know they will be hard pressed to keep a player at the club against his will.
With the January transfer window now open the Reds will seemingly be prepared for another onslaught from Barcelona, but with no release clause in his contract the Premier League club remain in a strong bargaining position.
Should contact be made between the two clubs the Merseysiders will head into the winter window with a sour taste in their mouth towards their Spanish counterparts and their kit suppliers - who they are set to take to court - following an online blunder which encouraged fans to purchase a Barcelona kit with Couthino's name printed on the back.