Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Coutinho may or may not have handed in transfer request

Steven Gerrard GETTYSteven Gerrard has backed Manchester City to win the Premier League
Nicole Thomas | 12 August, 2017, 00:42

Barca had a £72million bid for the Brazil worldwide rejected in July and, having subsequently sold his compatriot Neymar to Paris St Germain for a world-record £200.6million, are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of the 25-year-old.

Barcelona are expected to return to the negotiating table with a new bid soon but according to the Reds they won't be entertaining any more approaches for Coutinho.

Coutinho arrived Anfield on transfer deadline in the 2013 winter window for £8.5million from Inter Milan while Rodgers was still in charge, and was influential as the Northern Irishman nearly led Liverpool to a first Premier League title in 2013-14.

However, Press Association Sports state that Liverpool have denied reports that Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request.

The Reds said earlier that the player is not for sale and will remain at the club when the summer transfer window closes.

He added: "Coutinho emailed transfer request to Liverpool sporting director, Michael Edwards, today having reported for training as normal".

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Coutinho has total respect for Liverpool and the club's fans, even though at times he has become frustrated at his role in the team.

Barcelona are fast running out of options in their hunt for a replacement for Neymar - who moved to PSG in a £198m deal - with another target, Ousmane Dembele, also blocked from moving by Borussia Dortmund.

Manager Jurgen Klopp had insisted last Wednesday that Liverpool are under no pressure to sell Coutinho. "This means keeping the guys we have", Klopp told Sky in Germany on Thursday.

Coutinho will miss Saturday's Premier League opener against Watford with a back problem and Daniel Sturridge is also out with an injury, but the latter of the two should be available for Liverpool's crucial Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim on Tuesday night.

"I can't keep players happy". No price at which we are ready to give in.

Along with Barcelona's pursuit of Coutinho, Klopp's side have involved themselves in drawn-out chases for Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk and RB Leipzig's Naby Keita.

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