Philippe Coutinho has rocked Liverpool by handing in a transfer request on the eve of yesterday’s new season.
The Brazil international wants to join Barcelona and in an attempt to force through his move, he informed Liverpool of his wish to quit Anfield via an email.
Liverpool had denied initial reports that Coutinho had expressed a wish to leave but it has now emerged that the 25-year-old submitted his intentions sometime after Jurgen Klopp’s scheduled pre-match press conference.
It has been a dramatic day, with Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, issuing a statement at 10am to say that they would not consider selling Coutinho at any price and they expect him to be at the club on September 1.
“The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”
But a member of Coutinho’s family reportedly told Sky Sports: “Coutinho has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this but failed so far. Coutinho has tremendous love for Liverpool fans but like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool do not let players leave on amicable terms’.
Coutinho may have made a bold move but Liverpool’s stance remains unaltered and his request has been rejected. He is considered a huge part of the squad and Liverpool will not allow him to leave.
Reds boss Klopp said in his yesterday Press conference that the Brazil international, who signed a five-year contract extension in January, will miss the Premier League opener at Watford with a back injury and is a doubt for the Champions League qualifier at Hoffenheim on Tuesday.
“He has back problems and was not in training since last Friday,” Klopp said. “So no, he is not available and is also a doubt — if he is not available for Saturday (today) — for Tuesday, unfortunately.’
Klopp also underlined his belief that FSG’s statement was the end of the matter regarding Coutinho’s future.
‘When FSG say something like this it is 100 per cent clear. You can read it and there is nothing else to say about it’ Klopp said.
‘It’s not about this. It’s just that Phil is not available at the moment and, for me, actually the bigger issue is that he is unable to play.
‘The rest is not for you, it is between me and all the boys, not just Phil.’
Liverpool have already rejected three bids from Barcelona for Coutinho as the Spanish club seek a replacement for Neymar.
They started bidding at £72m, returned with £80m and raised it again to £90m in midweek.
Coutinho scored 14 goals in 36 appearances for Liverpool last season. — dailymailonline