Sunday 17 December 2017

Liverpool insist Philippe Coutinho will stay and playmaker's future does not affect transfer deadline day deals

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

Mark Critchley

Liverpool remain adamant that Philippe Coutinho will not be sold this summer and that prospective deals for either Thomas Lemar or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are not dependent on players leaving the club.

Coutinho is set to remain on Merseyside beyond Thursday’s deadline despite attempting to force through a move to Barcelona by handing in a transfer request earlier this month.

The Catalan club themselves have seen three bids for Coutinho rejected out of hand by Liverpool, whose stance on the 25-year-old’s future has been clear and consistent throughout.

Liverpool’s decision to revive their interest in Monaco winger Thomas Lemar over the weekend led to suggestions that the club had acceded to Coutinho’s wishes and were now willing to let him leave.

However, Anfield officials insist there has been no change in their definitive position and that the club does not need to sell players in order to buy.

Lemar, a highly-rated 21-year-old attacking midfielder who impressed during Monaco’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, is understood to be Liverpool’s priority attacking target.

Arsenal winger Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has one year remaining on his contract at the Emirates, is also being considered following his decision to turn down a £35m move to champions Chelsea.

Independent News Service

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