Philippe Coutinho transfer latest: Liverpool star requests Barcelona move by email | Football | Sport


Coutinho rocked the club this afternoon by formally asking to leave following interest from Barcelona.

The Brazil ace is Barca’s number one target as they look to replace Neymar after he completed a £198million to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona made a £90.3m bid on Wednesday night which was rejected immediately.


Liverpool’s owners FSG made a bold statement earlier today claiming Coutinho would not be sold before Jurgen Klopp spoke to the press and repeated the message.

But it was claimed by Sky Sports earlier that Coutinho had handed in a transfer request.

A family member was quoted as telling Sky Sports: “Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution but to no avail.

“He has tremendous love for the club and fans but as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms.”

Liverpool denied the claim initially before acknowledging his request, which they have now rejected and are carrying on as normal.

Coutinho is understood to have emailed Liverpool director Michael Edwards after training today expressing his desire to leave the club. Although it appears not to have done the trick.

FSG’s earlier statement read: “We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho.

“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.”

And Klopp followed that up with: “I think when somebody like FSG says it then that’s the statement.

“I think I’ve already said it a few times but maybe that’s not 100 per cent clear.

“I said whatever their decision was, and there is nothing else to say about it.”

But the German also admitted that he couldn’t keep players happy if they wanted to go.

“I can’t keep players happy. That’s how life is,” he said.

“It’s not about this at the moment. Phil is not available for us and that for me is the bigger issue. All the rest is just between me and all the boys, not just Phil.”

Pictures today emerged of Coutinho wearing a Barcelona shirt which were mocked up in a Twitter prank.

The official Barcelona account – @FCBarcelona – appeared to confirm Coutinho had signed this morning.

An image began circling of Coutinho in a Barca strip in a post they’d made.

But it was in fact a hoax conjured up by a dab hand on Photoshop during the dramatic transfer saga.

The tweet read: “Done deal, Phil Coutinho is now a Cule. #BienvenidoCoutinho.” That translates to Welcome Coutinho in Spanish.

Barca have plenty of money to spend, having sold Coutinho’s compatriot Neymar to Paris St Germain for a world-record fee last week.

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013, signed a new five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in January that did not include a buy-out clause.

The 25-year-old was their leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last term, a season that saw Klopp’s men secure a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.

He will not be available to face the Hornets this weekend, however, and is a doubt for the first leg of the Champions League qualifying play-off against Hoffenheim on Tuesday, after failing to recover from a back injury.

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