According to reports, Barcelona have bid €80 million for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho but the Premier League side have resisted and told the Spanish giants that he is not for sale.
According to the report, last year's Copa del Rey winners have highlighted the Brazilian as a replacement for Andres Iniesta, who is still waiting for a new contract at the club despite the fact that his current deal expires next summer.
The approach for Coutinho might be a form of acceptance that they will not be able to sign Marco Verratti, who was seen as Iniesta's heir in Barcelona's engine room. It might also be a move to replace Neymar in the squad as the club seem to finally accept that they have a proper issue on their hands with the Brazilian.
Reports emerged at the start of the week that PSG were ready to lure the player to France with a €222 million transfer and a chance to be the main man in Paris. The club played it cool only for Neymar to remain silent throughout the continued rumours. There are reports in Brazil that a deal is done with his sister reportedly informing people that her brother will play with PSG next season.
Barcelona's board have been lambasted for their summer transfer activity after an active but ultimately doomed transfer period last summer. The pursuit of Paulinho has drawn funny looks and the inability to offload fringe players while repacing them with upgrades is taking its toll. If the club lose Neymar without a backup to step in almost immeditately, Josep Bartomeu could face further uncomfortable questions.
He has highlighted Coutinho to ease the possible departure of Neymar but if Liverpool hold firm in their initial stance, they will be have to look elsewhere to splash their cash and improve their squad.