Barcelona snubbed yet again, Coutinho going nowhere

The Merseyside club were adamant even though they faced enormous pressure from the Catalan club as well as the player who changed his stance trying to force a move.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona have reportedly given up on Philippe Coutinho after Liverpool remained strong in their resolve preventing the Brazil international from leaving.

The Catalan giants will have to spend the proceeds of the £200m sale of Neymar elsewhere, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

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Sunday's preposterous 7pm deadline stunt that Barcelona set Liverpool to agree to an offer they had instantly rejected 48 hours earlier went unanswered by sporting director Michael Edwards.

Fenway Sports Group's statement a week earlier that "no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes" was unequivocal.

Jürgen Klopp, Edwards and the owners were in full agreement that it was far too late in the window to recruit an adequate replacement.

Having initially indicated that he wouldn't try to force a move, Coutinho's stance changed dramatically as Liverpool stood firm and Barcelona insisted it was either now or never in terms of his dream switch to the Nou Camp.

Along with the transfer request, he informed the Reds that he didn't want to play for the club again.

Poorly advised by agent Kia Joorabchian, the attempts by his camp to engineer his exit reached a new low with unnamed 'family members' telling Sky Sports News that he needed to get away because his relationship with Klopp had broken down.

The reality is that Coutinho has played the best football of his career under Klopp.

Having previously scored 17 goals in 112 appearances for the Reds, his record since Klopp took over is 25 goals in 69 games.

"The main thing I love about this manager is that he doesn't do things for the sake of it. He explains everything, give us an understanding of what and why. It creates an enjoyment. He will be a success here, 100%," Coutinho said in January after penning a new five-year contract.

With the World Cup finals next summer, he has to be performing at the top level in order to lead the charge for his nation.

Four years ago Luis Suarez found himself in a similar position after being denied the move he demanded. But the Uruguayan striker repaid those he had let down with a season of blistering quality. Liverpool fans can only hope for a similar fate.