Liverpool should let Philippe Coutinho move to Barcelona, says ex-Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
Jenas believes Coutinho, 25, sees it as his only chance to play for Barcelona.
“In my opinion, Liverpool should say ‘thank you very much for your service, we’ll keep this professional, on you go’,” Jenas told BBC Radio 5 live.
The Brazilian is out of Saturday’s game at Watford (12:30 BST) with a back injury.
Barcelona have moved for Coutinho after selling Brazil forward Neymar to Paris St-Germain for a world record transfer of £200m.
The Spanish club’s second offer to Liverpool for Coutinho, which was rejected immediately, comprised an initial 85 million euros (£76.8m) plus 15 million euros (£13.5m) in add-ons.
“The problem is are Barcelona ever going to come back? If they go out and find someone else, that chance has gone,” Jenas added.
“He’ll be looking at this from a player’s perspective going: ‘This is my opportunity. I’ve given everything I can for Liverpool, this is my one chance to get to Barcelona and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there’.
“It is going to get messy. The player wants to leave. The club have given him almost nowhere to move.”
Coutinho, who joined the Anfield club from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013, signed a new five-year deal in January, which did not include a release clause.