With Barcelona looking to account for the loss of forward Neymar Jr. to Paris-Saint Germain, the rumor mill has produced some names reportedly being considered by the Blaugrana. One of those names is that of Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, who has been ruled out of the team’s Premier League opener at Watford due to a back injury.
On Friday it was reported by Sky Sports that Coutinho submitted a transfer request via email, with Barcelona being his preferred destination. The Sky Sports report, which was originally refuted by multiple outlets, would eventually be confirmed with Coutinho being said to have made his request via email.
Fenway Sports Group, which owns the club, released a statement shortly thereafter saying that no offers for Coutinho would be considered despite his request to leave.
Already questionable for Liverpool’s Champions League first leg playoff match at Hoffenheim on Tuesday due to the aforementioned back injury, Coutinho’s status at the Premier League club beyond that point may be up in the air. With the signing of Mohamed Salah, Liverpool will look to call upon the trio of he, Coutinho and Sadio Mané as consistent attacking options in 2017-18.
But even with Liverpool ownership saying that Coutinho will not be leaving, one has to wonder if that would change should Barcelona’s offer reach a certain number.
Liverpool will be without two attacking options for its Premier League opener, as striker Daniel Sturridge is also out due to injury. Sturridge, who suffered a thigh injury during a friendly last week, could make his return for Tuesday’s Champions League match.