LIVERPOOL have reportedly agreed to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £148.5million (160m euros).
But an announcement has been delayed until Liverpool have brought in a replacement for the Brazil star.
That is according to Yahoo Sport and if true, would mark the end of lengthy chase by the Spanish side to sign Coutinho.
And the deal would make him the second most expensive transfer of all time following Neymar’s move to Paris Saint Germain.
Earlier this week, Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez revealed they were in negotiations to sign a someone but didn’t confirm the identity of the player.
“We are negotiating with a player with the possibility that he can arrive. We hope it ends well. We hope to be able to present a new player,” he said.
“One could arrive or two could arrive. We are negotiating. My intention is that another player arrives and if possible two.”
The report says Coutinho was told by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group they had finally dropped their public insistence that he would not be sold.
This was after Coutinho submitted a transfer request earlier this month via email, which was instantly dismissed.
Liverpool have been briefing that Coutinho would not be allowed to leave and any business done was not linked to his exit.
But it now as appears as though Liverpool’s attempts to sign Thomas Lemar and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are part of their bid to replace Coutinho.
Liverpool had a £64.5m bid for Lemar rejected by Monaco and are yet to match Chelsea’s £40m offer for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Yahoo Sport say Liverpool have asked Barcelona to delay the completion of Coutinho’s move until they’ve signed a player.
This article originally ran on express.co.uk