LIVERPOOL – Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has sensationally submitted a transfer request, hours after the English Premier League soccer club released a statement saying he is not for sale. On Wednesday, the Reds rejected a 100 million euros bid (£90 million) from Barcelona for the 25-year-old, who is out of today’s trip to Watford with injury. Liverpool insist they will not entertain any offers for Barcelona target Coutinho as his war with club’s owners broke out into the open.
In a statement yesterday, the club’s owners said its “definitive stance” was that “no offers will be considered”.
But Coutinho has issued Liverpool with an official transfer request following the owners’ statement that he is not for sale, according to Sky sources.
The Brazil star responded to a statement issued yesterday morning by Reds bosses FSG , which definitively started he would NOT be sold during the current transfer window under any circumstance for any price – by slapping in his demand to leave.
BBC Sport also understands Coutinho stated his desire to leave Anfield via email.
It is understood the player’s representatives suggested privately he would be submitting the request at lunch time yesterday, and that duly followed, with the player himself sending an e-mail to the club setting out a formal transfer request.
Coutinho’s actions are a surprise, because when players officially ask to leave, they usually prefer to do it through their representatives.
But the midfielder’s decision to make a personal submission suggests he is determined to leave, with Barcelona ready to bid again for his services.
Coutinho’s actions leave disappointed fans in no doubt that he wants to turn his back on the club and their affections, despite being a huge idol amongst the passionate support.
Liverpool have denied receiving any such request and yesterday morning, Fenway Sports Group released a statement saying “no offers will be considered” for Barcelona target Coutinho this summer, with manager Jurgen Klopp backing the owners’ sentiments.
Sky Sports News understands Liverpool have so far rejected two bids from Barcelona for the Brazil international, with the latest offer worth up to £90.4 million.
Later on yesterday, a close family member of Coutinho’s told Sky Sports News: “Philippe 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.”
It is understood Barcelona are prepared to pay up to £110 million for Coutinho, who signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract at Liverpool in January, but FSG’s statement had seemed to clear up his future.
“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,” the FSG statement read, issued prior to Coutinho’s transfer request.
Klopp remained adamant the Liverpool owners’ stance on Coutinho was final when speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday – ahead of the club’s Premier League opener against Watford today.
“When FSG say something like this it is 100 per cent clear,” said Klopp.
“You can read it and there is nothing else to say about it.” – The Daily Star-Sky Sports.