Philippe Coutinho has formally asked to leave Liverpool this lunchtime, as the player looks to secure a move to Barcelona.
Widespread reports on Friday that Coutinho had asked to leave prompted the club to release a fresh statement earlier in the day, claiming they wouldn’t sell the player at any cost.
However, the player responded immediately to that by handing in a transfer request – with the BBC claiming the Brazilian emailed the club with his formal request to leave.
Since then, the Liverpool Echo, The Times and the Daily Telegraph have all confirmed Liverpool fans’ worst fears.
The Reds’ owners, Fenway Sports Group, rejected a second bid believed to be worth £90million on Wednesday, before a statement earlier today which read: “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.”
Numerous reports are suggesting that the Brazilian is keen to push the move to Barcelona through as soon as possible, and was “floored” by this morning’s statement.
Barcelona had begun looking at alternatives to the 25-year-old, with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen one name touted.
Despite looking elsewhere, there is certainly unfinished business between Barcelona, Liverpool and Coutinho in this transfer window, and this afternoon’s news will improve the likelihood of them securing the signature of their number one transfer target.
It will now be left to Liverpool to consider their response to the news, and secure the best possible price they can for their prized asset.