Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho 'house-hunting in Barcelona'

Philippe Coutinho

GETTY Philippe Coutinho is wanted by Barcelona

He handed in a transfer request in August after Barcelona had a bid for the Brazilian rejected, but the Reds then turned down a further two offers.

The promotion - linked via Barcelona's own website - was removed within an hour.

Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker looks increasingly likely to complete a move to the Nou Camp in January, with kit manufacturers Nike dropping a huge hint overnight that a deal is nearly complete.

In a horror PR blunder, Coutinho's boot sponsor Nike accidentally confirmed the transfer on their website.

The Dutch worldwide will become the world's most expensive defender when he officially completes his record move to Anfield on New Year's Day.

Barcelona's pursuit of Philippe Coutinho is no secret.

Nike have since deleted the section on their website.

It could be that an employee mistakenly used copy from the summer, when Barcelona and Nike were expecting Coutinho to sign for the Spanish side.

In fact, Paulinho has apparently been making jokes about Coutinho looking for a house in Spain, which might actually be true.

Liverpool established a new record transfer fee for a defender last week when they bought Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75million.

Jurgen Klopp has refused to confirm Coutinho will stay at the club for the remainder of the season but it's more likely that the Brazilian's move to the Nou Camp will come in the summer.

"No, nobody told me that [I would have to sell Coutinho]", said Klopp on Friday. "I have no information about that", he said. The only thing I am interested in is how Phil is playing at the moment.

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