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Liverpool owners release statement to kill of Barcelona's Coutinho hopes


"I don't think I ever told you anything about what I spoke to players (about)", he said.

'It's hard now as he doesn't want to be there - Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world but he doesn't want to be there.

The 25-year-old has been targeted by Barca as they seek to fill the gap left by Neymar, who departed for Paris St Germain last week in a record-breaking €222m deal.

The Reds are now in the final stages of preparation for their Premier League opener away to Watford on Saturday, which Coutinho will miss with a alleged back injury.

But Carragher admits Liverpool's hopes of finishing in the top four - never mind winning the title - will be affected if Coutinho does secure a dream move to Barca.

Liverpool travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and are favourites to pick up all three points in their season opener.

Manager Jurgen Klopp hinted that the club may have considered selling Coutinho had an offer come in for the player earlier in the transfer window, and Carragher agrees.

Liverpool were rocked on Friday with Philippe Coutinho's shock transfer request, which came on the eve of the Reds' Premier League campaign kick off. Coutinho wants to join Barcelona and is doing everything he can to make it happen.

"I can see them keeping him", Thompson said on Sky Sports News.

Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group, issued a statement on Friday morning reaffirming that the player would not be allowed to leave the club, even if he were to push for it.

Coutinho signed a 5 and half year contract extension in January that took effect this summer and the club claims does not contain a release clause.

Coutinho will nonetheless be missing from the Watford match with a back problem that could also rule him out of the first leg of a Champions League qualifying play-off away to German club Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

In the press conference, Klopp was asked about trying to keep Coutinho happy. "The rest is not for you, it is between me and all the boys, not just Phil". We expected a good reaction from Liverpool but we needed to be better.

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