Fresh twist in Philippe Coutinho saga as Liverpool star 'hands in transfer request'
Coutinho will miss Liverpool’s Premier League opener with a back injury (Picture: Getty)

Philippe Coutinho appears to have reacted angrily to Liverpool’s statement insisting he will not be sold and has handed in a transfer request, according to reports.

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The Brazilian has long been on Barcelona’s radar as they sought a replacement for Neymar, who moved to PSG, and are believed to have had a £90m offer rejected by the Reds.

That was followed by a strong statement from the club, and owners Fenway Sports Group, insisting that he will still be a Liverpool player come September.

Fresh twist in Philippe Coutinho saga as Liverpool star 'hands in transfer request'
Coutinho wants to join Barca and had hoped Liverpool would allow him to go (Picture: Getty)

But now Sky Sports are reporting that Coutinho has issued Liverpool with an official transfer request.

For their part, Liverpool reject that report and are adamant that Coutinho has not handed in a transfer request as the saga gets even more confusing.

Philippe Coutinho’s 2016/17 PL stats

Appearances31Starts28Goals13Assists7

It would mark a huge turnaround in approach from the Brazilian, who had previously intimated that he would not aggressively seek to leave the club.

While keen to make the switch to Barcelona, he had always hoped that the two clubs could come to an amicable agreement that would not require him to force the issue.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has earlier praised the club and its owners for their handling of the situation, saying: ‘When FSG say something like this it is 100 per cent clear.

‘You can read it and there is nothing else to say about it. I am not sure anybody needs proof about [a good relationship with FSG].

Fresh twist in Philippe Coutinho saga as Liverpool star 'hands in transfer request'
Klopp had backed Liverpool’s stance and is counting on Coutinho next season (Picture: Getty)

‘I have bosses, they are FSG and I have no problem. I have never had bosses [that do things I do not like]. It’s not about asking for things you cannot get, it’s about a relationship. What we do we do to strengthen the club for our supporters.’

Coutinho is currently sidelined with a back injury that will prevent him from taking part in Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Watford on Saturday.