Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool star was never going to be sold to Barcelona – James Pearce

BARCELONA transfer target Philippe Coutinho was never going to be sold by Liverpool.

At least that’s the verdict of respected Merseyside football reporter James Pearce after a summer of intense speculation about the playmaker’s future.

Coutinho rose to the top of Barcelona’s wanted list following the departure of Brazil team-mate Neymar to Paris St-Germain last month.

And he was the subject of three unsuccessful bids from Nou Camp boss Ernesto Valverde – coming in at £72m, £90m and £118m respectively.

A fourth offer – and therefore switch – for Coutinho failed to materialise before the transfer window closed in Spain last night.

Although Liverpool Echo journalist Pearce says another attempt to prise the 25-year-old away would have been pointless.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Never known so many ridiculous reports as regarding Coutinho this summer.

James Pearce revealed on Twitter that Liverpool would not sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

“There was never any chance of him being sold.”

Liverpool have taken seven points from their opening three games of the new Premier League campaign.

And they’ve managed to do so without Coutinho, who’s been out of action with a back injury and illness.

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the former Inter Milan ace is available for selection when Liverpool visit Manchester City on Saturday September 9.