Only formalities remain before Liverpool can officially confirm Philippe Coutinho as their second signing of the January transfer window.
Liverpool have agreed an £8.5 million fee with Internazionale for the Brazilian attacking midfielder, who is set to undergo a medical on Tuesday, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Later in the day, Coutinho was expected to travel with club officials to London to try and secure a work permit. While the 20-year-old has not played the requisite number of games for Brazil to qualify automatically, Liverpool will be confident of arguing that his exceptional ability warrants an exception.
If all goes as planned, Coutinho could well be in the squad for Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City on Sunday.
Before news emerged of progress in the negotiations for Coutinho, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers claimed that he hoped for at least one more signing to join the earlier capture of Daniel Sturridge this month.
If the Reds are to add to Coutinho’s signing before Thursday’s deadline, it doesn’t appear that it will be with a deal for Blackpool’s Tom Ince. Liverpool had a bid rejected for the winger earlier in January, but are prepared to wait for the player until the summer, according to BBC Sport.
Liverpool are not the only club interested in the 20-year-old, however, with Reading manager Brian McDermott confirming that his side have also lodged a bid. The offer is believed to still fall short of Blackpool’s £8 million valuation, although Reading have yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, Ince has said that he is happy to stay at the Championship club.
"I'm a Blackpool player right now and I will keep doing what I did for them on Saturday,” he said, according to BBC Sport.
"Whatever happens, happens. If not, I'll be more than happy to play for this club and those fans."
When asked if Saturday’s match against Wolves was his last for Blackpool, he responded, “Definitely not.”
Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Oldham again exposed some deficiencies in Liverpool’s defense and TalkSport believe that the Reds could yet move for Danish defender Jores Okore before the close of the transfer window.
The 20-year-old has reportedly attracted interest from Liverpool, as well as Chelsea and Manchester United, while Fulham have also been linked in recent days. Okore’s agent recently suggested that the international would be open to a move away from Nordsjaelland this month.
But much of Liverpool’s investment would count for little if they are unable to hold on to Luis Suarez. According to French publication L’Equipe, Bayern-Munich-boss-in-waiting Pep Guardiola will be given a huge transfer kitty in the summer and has set his sights on securing the Uruguayan forward.
Suarez has excelled for the Reds this season and committed himself to the club by signing a new long-term deal last August.
However, as even Steven Gerrard recently suggested, sooner or later Suarez could well be tempted by a move if Liverpool cannot offer the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
According to the Independent, Liverpool would not countenance an offer below £40 million for the 26-year-old.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.