Liverpool's sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona appears to be imminent.
Liverpool have been tipped to meet Barcelona over the proposed January transfer of Philippe Coutinho, with a sale at some point in the next three-and-a-half weeks now seen as increasingly inevitable in a way that it wasn't during the summer.
Liverpool were famously unwilling to even entertain the notion of selling when Barcelona were submitting huge bid after huge bid in August, but the landscape appears to have changed.
A report from Yahoo! Sport claims that talks between the clubs are to be held on Thursday. It seemingly shows that Liverpool are getting ready to sell if their rumored €150m asking price is met.
Coutinho was keen to leave in summer, even submitting a transfer request. He agreed to recommit to Liverpool, temporarily honoring the long-term contract he had signed last season, but the Catalan press have long maintained there has always been an understanding between the Brazilian and the Reds that he would be allowed to leave in January.
While that seemed like overly optimistic reporting from Spain, it now looks as though there may actually have been substance to it after all.
The Yahoo! story further notes that Liverpool have been working on a deal to replace Coutinho.
Monaco winger Thomas Lemar seems like the most obvious choice. It is believed that the France international was keen on a summer move, before Arsenal came on the scene and agreed a fee with his club instead - Lemar of course rejected the Gunners.
He remains available and could be the perfect like-for-like replacement for Coutinho. Given that Lemar would likely cost around £80m, Liverpool's net spend in January might barely reach £20m, even after for the existing capture of £75m Virgil van Dijk.