Barcelona ‘give up on Philippe Coutinho’, claim Spanish reporters

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Spanish journalist Guillem Balague says that Barcelona have ended their interest in Philippe Coutinho, turning their attention elsewhere.

The Liga giants made three bids for the Brazilian, with the latest worth up to £114.2 million – but only an initial £16 million up front – with the Reds rejecting each out of hand.

Coutinho has set his sights on a move to Catalonia, handing in a transfer request on the eve of last weekend’s season opener away to Watford, but the club are adamant he won’t be sold.

And after Liverpool ignored their bizarre ultimatum over their interest in the midfielder, Ernesto Valverde’s side have reportedly called the pursuit to an end.

According to Balague, Barcelona “have had to give up on Coutinho,” with Ousmane Dembele, Jean Michael Seri and Angel di Maria their current targets following Neymar’s departure.

This was also reported by Catalan radio station RAC1, who claim that Liverpool’s stance has made a move “impossible.”

If Barcelona have pulled out of the running, Jurgen Klopp could now look to reintegrate Coutinho in the coming weeks.

Speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, however, the German suggested he would wait until after the end of the transfer window before considering the No. 10 for selection.

“I don’t think it makes sense in life that you think too much ahead, what can happen when,” he said.

“The situation is like it is, nothing changed [with the club’s stance].

“When there is no other decision possible anymore, on the 31st of August, then we have to think of something.”

If Barcelona have indeed ended their interest, it will be interesting how quickly Coutinho’s mysterious back injury clears up.

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