Liverpool insists that Philippe Coutinho will not leave club

But the Reds have rejected his approach - just hours after reiterating the Brazilian is NOT for sale as Barcelona eye a summer move.

"We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho", read the statement on Liverpool's website on Friday morning.

But there are conflicting reports over Coutinho's transfer request, with a number of reliable Liverpool sources rubbishing Sky's report.

After having two previous offers rejected, the Spanish club are believed to have increased their bid for the Liverpool forward to £90 million ($117 million, 99 million euros).

Coutinho emailed a transfer request to the club on Friday after Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group, issued a strongly worded statement saying the midfielder would not be sold in the transfer window.

"When FSG say something like this it is 100 per cent clear".

The main reason Coutinho wants to leave Anfield is that, as a Brazilian footballer, he finds it impossible to say no when Barcelona come calling.

Liverpool ruined plans to present Philippe Coutinho as a Barcelona player today, according to El Periodico.

As the transfer saga continues, Coutinho will miss tonight's clash with Watford with a back problem.

In a statement on yesterday, the club's owners said its "definitive stance" was that "no offers will be considered".

While it's totally understandable why Liverpool aren't keen to let their man leave, preventing a messy battle between both parties is best bet.

Watford begin their Premier League season with the visit of title challengers Liverpool in the early kick off on Saturday.

The Reds twice fell behind in the first half and went in at the break 2-1 down but managed to fight back in the second half, only for Miguel Britos to score a last-minute equaliser deep into stoppage time.

Barca are expected to continue their pursuit of Coutinho, but Liverpool's refusal to negotiate has forced the Catalans to look elsewhere, with Eriksen reportedly on their radar.

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