Liverpool have moved swiftly to deny claims from Sky Sports that Philippe Coutinho had handed in an official transfer request on Friday afternoon.
It was claimed that Coutinho had formally requested a move away from Merseyside shortly after Jurgen Klopp‘s press conference at Melwood.
This came following from statement the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, of their “definitive stance” over Coutinho’s future.
FSG are not willing to sell their prized asset, which made Sky Sports’ claim particularly worrying, suggesting a rift between player and club.
But various journalists quickly quashed speculation, with the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce and Goal’s Melissa Reddy among those to take to Twitter to rely Liverpool’s reaction:
#LFC adamant that they haven't received a transfer request from Philippe Coutinho
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) August 11, 2017
I've been told it is "not true" that Phil Coutinho has handed in a transfer request#LFC
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) August 11, 2017
And to continue the theme of the morning… Liverpool insist that Philippe Coutinho has not handed in a transfer request.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) August 11, 2017
Liverpool deny a transfer request has been made by Coutinho.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) August 11, 2017
#Breaking Liverpool have denied reports that Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request #LFC pic.twitter.com/4ecSIekT2B
— PA Dugout (@PAdugout) August 11, 2017
It would be remiss to ignore the old adage that there is no smoke without fire, as it is widely reported that Coutinho would be receptive to a move to the Nou Camp.
But that a plethora of more credible sources moved so swiftly to deny the notoriously out-of-touch Sky sources should be telling.
FSG are clearly not willing to discuss a potential move for the No. 10, having rejected Barcelona’s bids of £72 million and £90.4 million out of hand.
At this stage, it would be wise to refer to Friday morning’s statement as the official line on Coutinho’s future.
“We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho,” FSG wrote.
“The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered, and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”
Coutinho will be absent from Saturday’s Premier League opener away to Watford, however, due to a troubling back injury.