Barcelona have no plans to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool this summer, according to La Liga expert Guillem Balague.
Spanish publication Sport published an article last week suggesting Brazil star Coutinho had verbally agreed to move to the Nou Camp this summer, subject to Barca agreeing to pay Liverpool their £76million asking price.
But after Jurgen Klopp issued a strongly-worded statement to insist the Reds had no intention of selling his star performer, Sky Sports pundit Ballague has put another dampener on the possibility of the deal happening.
“This has turned into a weekly question,” Balague told Sky Sports. “[Coutinho’s] entourage is clearly working to move him to the Nou Camp.
“But there are different reasons why Barca will not go for him.
“One is the cost and the other is they think he’s a forward rather than a midfielder. And of course they are completely sorted in attack.
“They are looking for a different type of midfielder.
“Nobody doubts Coutinho’s quality but Barcelona don’t have the money to be getting three or four top players for their first-choice line-up.”
Coutinho himself says he has not had any contact with Barca and is focused on securing a place in the Champions League with Liverpool, although the speculation means he is on the right path.
“Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, so far, nothing has come to me, because if anything comes, it comes to my manager, what I have to do is focus on the pitch,” Coutinho told ESPN Brasil ahead of Liverpool’s win at West Ham.
“I have a contract with Liverpool, there are two games, there are a lot of chances for us to be in the Champions League next year.
“What I have to do is focus on football and those things are resolved by the business people.
“I’m happy to know that a great club has an interest, it’s cool, for the recognition of their work, what I have to do is keep working hard.
“Liverpool is a great club and we have to put Liverpool back in the Champions League.”