Liverpool have stepped up their January recruitment drive with an £8 million bid for Inter Milan youngster Coutinho the Daily Mail understand.

After bolstering their attack with the £12 million acquisition of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea a fortnight ago Brendan Rodgers has turned his attention to strengthening the Reds midfield.

Having grown tired in his attempts to broker a deal with Blackpool for Thomas Ince and Wesley Sneijder’s demands proving unreasonable, Rodgers has switched his attentions to 20-year-old Coutinho.

Chairman Tom Werner spent Friday discussing potential transfers and earmarked the one-cap Brazilian international as a player that fits the profile of owners Fenway Sports Group.

Liverpool’s initial offer is thought to have been rebuffed by the Serie A giants but they are expected to return with a fresh proposal in order to prise him away from the San Siro.

Despite  joining Inter from Vasco Da Gama for €4m as a promising 16-year-old,  though he was allowed to remain at the Estádio São Januário on loan until 2010, he has failed to hit the heights expected of him in Italy.

With just 28 league appearances under his belt Coutinho is said to have become increasingly frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities and spent the latter half of last season on loan at Spanish club Espanyol.

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