Liverpool say Barcelona target Coutinho ‘definitively’ not for sale

Philippe Coutinho started 31 Premier League games and scored 13 goals for Liverpool last season

Philippe Coutinho started 31 Premier League games for Liverpool last season, scoring 13 goals

Liverpool say that Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho is “definitively” not for sale.

On Wednesday, the Reds rejected a bid of 100 million euros (£90m) from Barcelona for the 25-year-old.

Barca’s second bid, which was rejected immediately, comprised an initial £76.8m plus £13.5m in add-ons.

In a statement on Friday, the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group club said its “definitive stance” was that “no offers will be considered”.

It added: “Philippe will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”

Speaking at a news conference previewing Saturday’s Premier League match at Watford, manager Jurgen Klopp said Coutinho would miss the season opener with a back problem.

Klopp said he was also a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League play-off first leg at Hoffenheim as he had “not been in training since last Friday”.

Coutinho, who scored 14 goals in all competitions last season, signed a new five-year deal in January that did not include a release clause. He joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013.

Klopp said the Reds were not “a selling club” when Barca’s previous £72m offer was rejected in July.

Barcelona have also had a bid rejected for Borussia Dortmund’s 20-year-old forward Ousmane Dembele since they sold Brazil forward Neymar to Paris St-Germain for a world record £200m last week.

The German club confirmed they met Barca representatives but the offer did not meet their valuation of the France international.

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