After the grudge sale of Neymar to French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Barca had been in hot pursuit of Coutinho and it is now understood that they have reached an agreement with Liverpool to make him the second most expensive player in football history.
Coutinho is believed to be keen on a move to Barca but will not hand in a written transfer request as he wants any departure to be amicable.
However, he was left out of Liverpool's squad for a friendly win over Athletic Bilbao in Dublin at the weekend while a back injury seems certain to sideline him from the club's opening Premier League match at Watford on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembélé is another possible target of the blaugrana who are desperate to sign a replacement for O'Ney. That deal, worth around £150,000 (NZ$266,000) a week, does not include a release clause so they are under no obligation to sell, no matter the figure Barcelona come up with.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Barcelona "to save their energy" last week, claiming the player wasn't for sale.
Normally such a move would pass without too much attention, but it is the transfer talk currently being generated by Coutinho which makes this decision so intriguing.
Do you something awesome to share with the world? That is set in stone. "Coutinho then goes to Barcelona next year and plays a central role". Klopp spoke to the forward in Hong Kong when Barcelona first formalised their interest to stress his importance to the team and reiterate the club's determination to keep him at Anfield.
Sources say Philippe Coutinho is interested in a move to Barcelona.