Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has given Barcelona until Sunday to sign midfielder Javier Mascherano.
The Reds have already rejected a £16million offer from the Spanish giants for their midfield enforcer after insisting they are under no financial pressure to accept a substantial bid for the 26-year-old.
Hodgson is keen to have Mascherano's future resolved though after he was left out of Monday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, with the Reds boss citing the player was not in the right frame of mind for the Premier League fixture.
The former River Plate, Corinthians and West Ham performer, who will also miss Liverpool's Europa League second-leg tie with Trabzonspor on Thursday, is said to be desperate for a move to Spain after his family have grown unhappy with life in England.
But a move to the Camp Nou hangs in the balance after Hodgson gave his Barca counterpart Pep Guardiola an ultimatum of Sunday evening to come up with the Reds' £25million valuation for the Argentina captain.
"I wouldn't want to say he has played his last game for Liverpool," said the Liverpool manager.
"The negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs and if he had played here it might have prejudiced the transfer and I didn't wish to do that to the player.
"I am seriously hoping that in the next couple of days it will be sorted out one way or another - although I have no idea which way that will be.
"Tomorrow night was out of the question but Sunday is very much a question because I think by then I should know one way or another whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona."