Liverpool are reportedly planning to make a last ditch effort in retaining Philippe Coutinho by handing him a new and improved deal in the coming days.

According to the Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, the former Inter Milan man is a key target for Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde. He is edging closer and closer towards completing a switch to Camp Nou in the January transfer window.

Coutinho signed a new five-year deal in January 2017 and also became the Reds' highest paid player, with weekly wage of £150,000 ($202,543). The Merseyside club face Burnley in the Premier League on New Year's Day.

It is followed by the third round FA Cup tie against local rivals Everton at Anfield on 5 January. It is believed the Catalan club will make an approach for Coutinho after these two fixtures. Liverpool are trying desperate measures to convince the Brazil international to continue in England before they receive an offer from Barcelona.

He was a transfer target for Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The La Liga leaders made multiple bids in securing the services of the playmaker. The player even handed in a transfer request to leave the Premier League in the same window after agreeing personal terms with Valverde's side.

However, Liverpool rejected Coutinho's request and Barcelona's multiple approaches in signing their star player. He was assured by the Reds' owners that he will be allowed to leave the club in January.

Jurgen Klopp's side are keen on retaining the South American star, but are aware that they are facing an uphill task in achieving it. Mundo Deportivo claims Liverpool are ready to offer him a lucrative deal, which will be in excess of £150,000-a-week he is currently earning at Anfield.

Coutinho is unwilling to accept the offer made to him by Liverpool chairman Tom Werner, which also includes extending a contract and improving his weekly wages. He has made his decision to join Barcelona and is looking forward to leave his currently employers for the Spanish giants.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho remains a major target for Barcelona Getty