Barcelona officials are expected to meet with their Liverpool counterparts before the end of this month to step up the negotiations to sign Philippe Coutinho ahead of the upcoming January transfer window.

Mundo Deportivo claimed on Tuesday (14 November) that Catalan chiefs will travel to England later this month to "officially demand" Liverpool the sale of the Brazilian international.

The 25-year-old star was poised to move to Nou Camp during the summer transfer window after being identified as Ernesto Valverde's top priority to bolster his midfield.

Coutinho even handed in a transfer request to force the move but Barcelona had to abandon the pursuit on deadline day after Liverpool refused to negotiate his departure.

Last month Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau claimed that the La Liga giants are financially ready to make a new attempt to sign the Liverpool ace in January.

"We are prepared to sign Coutinho or other players but the proposal has to come from the technical staff. We will do our best to meet their demands," Grau said during a press conference in which he revealed a club record budget for the 2017-2018 campaign of €897m.

Mundo Deportivo

Now Mundo Deportivo says that Barcelona want to avoid another long saga and will try to complete the signing as soon as the transfer market reopens on 1 January.

Valverde would like to have Coutinho ready for the busy month of January with hopes the Brazilian could adapt to his new side as soon as possible and make an important contribution during the second crucial part of the campaign.

This way Barcelona officials plan to meet with Liverpool before the end of the month in order to accelerate negotiations.

Reports suggest Barca plan to launch a first offer worth €80m (£71.6m, $93.7m) plus €30m in add-ons which could be slightly improved if Liverpool consider it not enough.

Earlier this week Coutinho tried to play down the speculation over his future after claiming that he is happy at Anfield.

"I'm playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world,'' Coutinho said while on international duty with Brazil.

"I'm always happy. But now it's important to concentrate on the national team. At the moment I am very happy with my life. Every day, I work harder than before to improve myself and become a better all-around footballer," he concluded.

However, Mundo Deportivo insists that the Brazilian is still keen on moving to Barcelona and will ask Liverpool to facilitate his departure as the Premier League giants promised him in the summer.