Liverpool confirm that Philippe Coutinho will not be sold despite Barcelona bids

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool wanted to rope in Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk earlier in the summer but then publicly abandoned their pursuit after being reported to the English Premier League for chasing the player.

Barca had a £72million bid for the Brazil global rejected in July and, having subsequently sold his compatriot Neymar to Paris St Germain for a world-record £200.6million, are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of the 25-year-old. "I turned 50 in the summer so maybe I forget, but there is nothing to say about this [Coutinho's future]".

The Independent understands that Barcelona had already been preparing for that, and had started the process of trying to prise Eriksen from Spurs.

When asked if his job was now to keep Coutinho happy, Klopp added: "I can't keep players happy".

However, just hours later, the player himself stunned the Kop faithful - who were finally starting to relax - by handing in a transfer request.

Their faces would be redder than the Liverpool shirt that Coutinho no longer wants to wear if he now leaves.

Soon after the press conference, reports emerged that Coutinho had handed in a transfer request.

"The board want him to stay, this is not a situation where Liverpool need money or to cash in", Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, the club under-18 coach, said this week about the Coutinho situation.

"It's not about this at the moment". For me the bigger issue is that he is unable to play.

Liverpool rejected a second bid from Barcelona worth £90.3m (€100m) for Coutinho Wednesday night, according to BBC Sport.

And the German boss is determined to show he is serious about bringing back the glory days to Anfield by retaining Coutinho, Liverpool's top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last season when the Merseysiders finished fourth.

Klopp confirmed Coutinho will miss the game against Watford through injury and is doubtful for the Champions League first-leg qualifier against Hoffenheim in midweek.

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