The Reds stayed true to their hard-line stance on Friday by rejecting Coutinho’s transfer request, with ownership team Fenway Sports Group (FSG) reaffirming no offers would be considered. The Brazilian showed up to training as normal, but reportedly made his position clear in an email to the club’s sporting director, Michael Edwards.
Barcelona has already failed with bids of £72 million and £90 million this summer, as Liverpool has no intention of selling a player who recently signed a new five-year contract.
However, Coutinho’s revelation has apparently boosted Barcelona’s confidence in strong-arming Liverpool into a deal.
A friend of Coutinho’s family allegedly told Sky Sports News that the 25-year-old “has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this situation but to no avail.
“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.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, indicated Coutinho has “no price” because it’s too late in the transfer window to find a suitable replacement. Had Barcelona approached Liverpool sooner, Klopp suggested the parties could have come to an agreement.
“The only thing I can say about this is that in life everything is about timing – whichever club asks early enough. It’s like how we try to do it. If we ask early enough, we try to do it,” Klopp told reporters, courtesy of the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce. “But you cannot come up, close to the start of the season and things like this.”
The German boss added, “Maybe everybody has a price in the right moment. In the wrong moment? No price.”
Liverpool is upset Coutinho even requested a transfer at all, the Guardian’s Ed Aarons and Andy Hunter report, following heart-to-heart meetings between FSG and the playmaker. Klopp is also believed to have told Coutinho during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Asia that he won’t let him leave Anfield.