Reports in Brazil are suggesting that Philippe Coutinho was not behind the orchestrating of his current impasse with Liverpool, and was in fact urged to manipulate the situation by Barcelona.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, via Seleção Brasileira, it was Barca that suggested Coutinho threaten Liverpool with never playing again as a tactic to increase the deal’s likelihood, with members of the players' confirming that he never had the will to not play for Liverpool, but instead followed his representatives’ instructions.
The supposed revelation comes as Liverpool continue to stonewall the Catalans' attempts to bring the player to the Nou Camp, having seen a third bid of £119m rejected as the Reds hierarchy were unhappy with only receiving £80m up front and a number of near unattainable add-ons.
If this stance were to remain the same, the Brazilian would be forced to re-establish himself within the club, especially with the World Cup looming large next summer. As such, it seems his representatives may be leaking stories of his lack of complicity to soften the backlash he could potentially face should he remain.
Meanwhile, speaking on Sky Sports' Monday night football show, former Liverpool favourite Jamie Carragher suggested that the club might have been more receptive to selling the creative midfielder had they been more successful earlier in the transfer window.
''I said it a few weeks ago, they can’t sell him'', said Carragher.
''It became more political, rather than the business of it. Liverpool have had such a poor window, they couldn’t be seen letting go of him.
Those three big targets - van Dijk, Keita, Salah - if they got those through the door, I’m not saying ‘yes sell him’ but it may have been easier to prise him away.''