Barcelona have made a desperate attempt to push Liverpool into accepting a deal for Philippe Coutinho by giving the club an unusual ultimatum.
The Catalan giants recently saw their third bid of up to £118million immediately rejected, having also failed with offers of £72million and £90million.
Much to the frustration of the Spanish club, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have refused to budge from a stern insistence that Coutinho will not be sold for any price this summer, despite the player himself having handed in a transfer request.
In a last-ditch effort, Barcelona have told Reds officials they have until Sunday evening to accept their latest offer, otherwise it will be withdrawn, reports the Times’ Paul Joyce.
If FSG stick to their word as they have done so far, that should be that as far as talk of a Coutinho exit is concerned.
Resisting one of Europe’s top sides would be a significant and long-awaited boost for Liverpool, after seeing so many of their top players leave in the past.
Seeing the club hold the power is a welcomed flashback to simpler times in the transfer window, making Southampton’s position on Virgil van Dijk and RB Leipzig’s refusal to sell Naby Keita, admittedly, admirable.
Unless something drastically changes, Coutinho will be playing his football at Liverpool this season- a season in which he cannot afford to sit around and sulk given the approaching 2018 World Cup.
He cannot be blamed for wanting to play for Barcelona, but it’s time for him to shelve those ambitions and turn his entire focus back to life on Merseyside.