SAINTS have had a £10.2m bid for Brazilian playmaker Phillipe Coutinho accepted - but are waiting to see if Liverpool will match the offer.

The Italian giants are understood to have accepted Saints' bid for the 20-year-old, who has played under Mauricio Pochettino on loan at Espanyol, which is hoped will prove a decisive factor in landing the playmaker.

As reported earlier, it is Liverpool who have so far been closest to prising him away from the San Siro.

The Reds have been in discussions with Inter over a possible move for the player this month.

Although they have had an £8m offer turned down, it has been suggested that they would be willing to return with an improved bid.

Capped once by his country, Coutinho has started just three Serie A games so far this season.

THe youngster  has shown no great desire to leave Inter, having already stated his desire to stay with the Italian giants.

However, a strong personal offer from Saints or Liverpool could potentially persuade him to move.