Club owners Fenway Sports Group released a statement early on Friday that read "no offers for Philippe will be considered," and Sky Sports News reported hours later of Coutinho's desire to leave Anfield:
Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews
BREAKING: @Phil_Coutinho hands @LFC an official transfer request - Sky sources. #SSN https://t.co/Ju1vtSwKLJ2017-8-11 11:21:21
Paul Joyce of the Times later reported Liverpool will not grant the request to move:
paul joyce @_pauljoyce
Liverpool have rejected Coutinho’s transfer request. FSG statement still holds.2017-8-11 13:00:33
Liverpool rejected a second Barcelona bid for the player worth €100 million (£90 million) on Thursday, per the Guardian's Andy Hunter, having had an earlier bid of £72 million also turned down by the Merseysiders.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol provided quotes from a family member close to Coutinho, illustrating the Brazilian's hope to join the Blaugrana:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
1/2 Close Coutinho family member tells us "Coutinho has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this but failed so far. Coutinho...2017-8-11 12:02:53
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
2/2 has tremendous love for LFC & fans but like Gerrard and Suarez have pointed out in past LFC doesn't let players leave on amicable terms"2017-8-11 12:04:13
Barca manager Ernesto Valverde is under pressure to recruit a top-level replacement for former left-wing star Neymar, who last week joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record £200 million deal.
However, it's apparent Coutinho could be a difficult target to prise away, with Liverpool not wanting to lose another star to the Catalan giants in the same manner they were forced to sell Luis Suarez to the club in 2014.
Coutinho will reportedly miss Saturday's Premier League season opener against Watford due to injury after manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed the South American's absence from training, per the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce:
James Pearce @JamesPearceEcho
Klopp on Coutinho: "No he's not available. He's not been in training since last Friday. He's a doubt for Tuesday unfortunately."2017-8-11 09:58:48
It's an awkward situation for Liverpool in that they could end up with a disgruntled star, but if Barcelona can't match the Reds' valuation of Coutinho, they're under no obligation to cash in.
Neymar's £200 million move to Paris could have a knock-on effect in convincing clubs their own stars are worth much more than they once were, meaning Coutinho may be forced to make do with a Liverpool stay.