How Liverpool forced Coutinho to submit transfer request

Sadio Mane says Liverpool should have got three points against Watford

Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho has submitted a formal transfer request to Liverpool, defying the Premier League club's insistence that they will not release him, a British newspaper reported on Friday.

The Brazil playmaker has been targeted by Barcelona, whose bid of around £90million was rebuffed by Liverpool on Wednesday.

However, just a few short hours later, it emerged that Coutinho had reportedly demanded a departure from Anfield.

In a statement on Friday, the club's owners said its "definitive stance" was that "no offers will be considered".

Manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the Brazil worldwide has not trained for the past week and is unlikely either to face Marco Silva's side or Hoffenheim in the first leg of the Champions League play-off tie on Tuesday.

"When FSG say something like this it is 100 per cent clear", said Klopp.

Liverpool's owners FSG have said that "no offers for Philippe Coutinho will be considered" following interest from Barcelona in the midfielder.

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

It is no wonder that Liverpool want "The Little Magician" to remain with the club as has really flourished at Merseyside.

Coutinho was at his peak in the 2016/17 campaign, scoring 13 times and providing seven assists in 31 English Premier League appearances as Liverpool finished fourth and secured Champions League qualification.

Klopp has always maintained that Coutinho would not be sold but he hopes that FSG's public stance will draw a line under the issue.

In my last prediction I tipped Virgil Van Dijk to start at centre back for our first game but that is obviously impossible now. "No he is not available, he is also a doubt for Tuesday, unfortunately".

So now they've been very publicly negotiating for Dembele and Coutinho, I don't think they can afford both of them. That's how life is.

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