Liverpool are heading for a stand-off with striker Luis Suarez amid reports that he has set up a move to Real Madrid.
The Daily Star claimed the 26-year-old Uruguayan had agreed personal terms for a move, and the English paper's claim was later repeated by influential Spanish paper Marca - well known for its close links to the Bernabeu.
The Daily Telegraph said Liverpool were “furious” with the latest development in the Suarez saga and would be seeking “urgent talks” with their star forward, who scored 23 Premier League goals last season.
Suarez - whose Liverpool contract runs until 2017 - has still not submitted an official transfer request, nearly a month after first stating publicly that he wanted to leave Anfield.
On May 29, at a press conference in Uruguay, he said it “would be difficult to say no” to Madrid if they came in for him.
He went on to claim he had to leave the club because he was being victimised by the British media and the Football Association.
Liverpool responded to that press conference with a statement insisting that Suarez was not for sale and adding: “Neither Luis or his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool.”
The club have declined to make any public comment on the matter since then, but are preparing for the likelihood that Suarez will attempt to force a move through.
Privately, they have indicated that their stance will not change unless the player submits an official transfer request and that, even then, they would look for a fee of around £50 million.
Suarez moved to Anfield from Ajax for £22.8 million in January 2011.
He is currently on duty with Uruguay at the Confederations Cup in Brazil and is four games into a ten-match domestic suspension imposed after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match at Anfield on April 21.