Liverpool's owners insists that Philippe Coutinho will not be sold to Barcelona

Gerrard, Lampard make Premier League top-four predictions

We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho.

A statement from Sky Sports reads: "Philippe Coutinho has issued Liverpool with an official transfer request following the owners' statement that he is not for sale".

Barcelona have also seen their £82m-plus-add-ons offer turned down for Dortmund's Dembele, according to Sky in Germany, and Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Balague believes the Spanish club will have to choose between their two targets.

He signed a new five-year deal without a release clause in January, which has emboldened Liverpool's attitude towards the situation.

Klopp has had the unwelcome distraction of Barcelona attempting to sign Philippe Coutinho in the past week but the German manager is happy with how the preparation has gone ahead of the real business getting underway.

Barcelona's follow-up bid came after the Merseyside club first rejected a £72m offer for the Brazil worldwide last month.

Gerrard, Lampard make Premier League top-four predictions

While others felt that if a transfer request had been handed in, perhaps it was time for the midfielder to leave the club.

Both proposals were accompanied with the message that he was not on the market at any price, a stance repeated on several occasions by Jurgen Klopp.

The 25-year-old was their leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last term, a season that saw Klopp's men secure a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Asked if Coutinho would play at Vicarage Road on Saturday, Klopp replied: "No, he has back problems".

That is not a problem that Manchester City or United now have, which tells you how far a club that last won the league title in 1990 have fallen down football's pecking order.

While they are not alone in being troubled by player power - even Barcelona could not keep Neymar, and Arsenal are struggling to hold on to Alexis Sanchez - the stakes at Anfield are higher. That's how life is. Phil is not available for us and that for me is the bigger issue.

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