Liverpool have rejected a third bid believed to be £118 million from Barcelona for their star player Philippe Coutinho.
The Catalan club are desperate to replace Neymar following his £198m world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, with Coutinho their top target.
But the Merseyside club instantly snubbed the offer — understood to be £82m plus £36m in add-ons.
Barca appear to have already accepted defeat before the bid was lodged, as SunSport reported earlier today how the club’s sporting director Robert Fernandez admitted that the La Liga side are facing an uphill battle to sign him.
The Brazilian midfielder does not have a release clause, which is making the transfer difficult to seal for the La Liga giants.
Coutinho handed in a transfer request last week, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp remains adamant that the Brazilian is staying at Anfield.
Liverpool have already turned down two bids of £72million and £90million from the La Liga outfit for their midfield ace.
And even a huge hike to £114m hasn’t proved enough to tempt the Liverpool hierarchy.
Speaking about Barca’s transfer policy, Fernandez said: “Not just Barca, but any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market.
“Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clause so that makes things trickier.
“Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.”
Following Neymar’s £198million move to Paris Saint-Germain, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is keen to bolster his side ahead of the new term.