Liverpool have denied reports that Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request.
Barcelona are understood to have had a bid of around £90million for the Brazil playmaker rejected by the Reds on Wednesday, and reports emerged on Friday suggesting Coutinho has asked to leave Anfield.
Liverpool have subsequently insisted that is “not true”, on a day which has also seen their owners issue a statement stressing their stance that the 25-year-old will not be sold during the current transfer window.
Barca, who sold Neymar to Paris St Germain last week for a world-record £200.6m, also had a £72m offer for Coutinho turned down in July.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has gone on record a number of times emphasising that Coutinho is not for sale.
And the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) backed that up on Friday by saying in a statement: ”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 (transfer) window closes.”
That message appeared on Liverpool’s official website just prior to Klopp’s press conference looking ahead to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford.
During the press conference, Klopp revealed Coutinho would miss the game at Vicarage Road due to a back problem, and said of FSG’s statement on the player: ”I think if somebody, in this case FSG, is saying something like this, that is the statement.
”I think I have said it already a few times but maybe that’s not 100 per cent clear. I have said what the club’s decision is about this and now you can read it – that is maybe the only difference. And that is the way it will go.”