English Premier League side Liverpool FC have rejected a bid of 100 million euros (about £90m or N45bn) from Spanish side FC Barcelona for Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Barca’s second bid for the 25-year-old, which was rejected immediately, comprised an initial 85m euros (about £76.8m) plus 15m euros (about £13.5m) in add-ons.
Liverpool have insisted that Coutinho, who they purchased from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013, is not for sale.
FC Barcelona had sold Brazil forward Neymar to Paris St-Germain for a world record transfer of £200m last week and are in need of a replacement.
Coutinho, a scorer of 14 goals last season in spite of spending six weeks out with an ankle injury, had signed a new deal with Liverpool in January.
But the five-year deal did not include a release clause.
The Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp has said they were not a “selling club’’ when Barca’s previous £72m offer was rejected in July, and that Liverpool had considered the matter closed.