• Mundo Deportivo claims that the Brazilian ace still wants to move to the Nou Camp.
  • The Catalans want to complete the move in January to avoid a summer battle for his services.

The transfer saga surrounding Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona could be set for a new major twist with reports in Spain claiming that Real Madrid plan to hijack the Brazilian's proposed move to the Nou Camp.

Mundo Deportivo says that Los Blancos have approached the Merseysiders to sound out the situation over the Brazilian ace's future ahead of making a move to lure him to Real Madrid during next summer's transfer window.

The Spanish publication claims that Barcelona will therefore make every effort to complete his signing in the upcoming January transfer window in order to win the race and avoid a big summer battle for his services.

However, Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in signing the Liverpool ace but the Ligue 1 giants won't be able to make a move until the summer due to the Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Last week, Mundo Deportivo claimed Coutinho's agent Kia Joorabchian had told Barcelona that Liverpool are willing to sell the Brazilian ace in January in a deal worth €150m (£133.7m, $175m).

The Catalans tried to sign the Brazil international during the summer but decided to abandon their pursuit on transfer deadline day after Liverpool demanded they pay €200m or forget about his signing.

However, last month Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau suggested that they will make renewed efforts to sign the player in January after claiming that the club are financially "ready" to sign the Liverpool playmaker or "any other player the technical staff request" during the upcoming window.

Mundo Deportivo has been reporting in recent weeks that the Catalans plan to offer the same €80m plus €30m in add-ons which Jurgen Klopp's side rejected in the summer - hoping Liverpool will soften their stance this time.

Now the Spanish publication insists that Barcelona hope to reach an agreement for a fee below the €150m that Liverpool are currently demanding.

The report adds that Coutinho is still determined to make the move to the Nou Camp in January despite the fresh interest from both Real Madrid and PSG.

However, Mundo Deportivo suggests that if Barcelona fail to convince Liverpool to cash in during the January window, then they may have to abandon their interest permanently as Real Madrid's fresh interest will only increase his €150m price further ahead of the summer.

Barcelona have also been heavily linked with Schalke 04 midfielder Leon Goretzka. But Mundo Deportivo says that Ernesto Valverde has asked the club to delay his arrival until the summer in order to prioritise the signing of Coutinho.

Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho is said to be keen to move to Barcelona. Getty Images