Fernando Torres is demanding a six-year deal worth £31.2million to join Liverpool.
The Atletico Madrid star, 23, is yet to hold talks with Kop boss Rafael Benitez as his advisors hold out for £100,000-a-week.
The package for the striker will amount to £57.9m, including the £24m transfer fee.
Atletico want Liverpool to pick up a £2.7m tab for a pay-off Torres is due under the terms of his contract.
Reports in The Sun suggest the deal will stretch Liverpool's purse strings to the limit and would put Torres' wage behind only skipper Steven Gerrard's £120,000-a-week.
But Benitez risks losing his No.1 summer target to Inter Milan if his board refuse his demands.
The Italian giants have already had a £27m bid accepted.
And although Torres favours Liverpool, the Inter offer is being used as a bargaining tool by his agents Bahia International.
A Bahia source said: "He'll only leave Atletico if the club, and the offer, is absolutely right for him."
The deal was given a boost at the weekend when midfielder Luis Garcia sealed a £3.36m move in the other direction.
Officially the switch has nothing to do with Torres' deal but the fee has been taken off his price-tag.
Torres will keep Benitez waiting until he returns from holiday on July 7 before any deal is signed.
Atletico chiefs are now desperate to finalise the move after signing Diego Forlan as a £14m replacement from Villarreal.