Barcelona Reportedly Admits Defeat in Philippe Coutinho Pursuit Despite Last-Gasp Offer
Barcelona appear to have finally admitted defeat in their attempts to prise Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool.
La Blaugrana are believed to have thrown in the towel over their pursuit of the playmaker, according to Sport, despite their best efforts to persuade the Reds to allow him to leave.
Those claims have been backed up by Guillem Balague, who posted about the deal being dead in the water on his Twitter account late on Friday afternoon.
The news will come as a major blow to both Barcelona and Coutinho, with the latter still holding out hope that a compromise could have been reached between the two clubs over a dream move to Catalunya.
In English: nothing new really. FCB and Coutinho entourage have finally accepted there is no way Coutinho is leaving. It took them some time— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2017
Barcelona were still able to try and sign the 25-year-old due to the Spanish transfer window not slamming shut until midnight on Friday, and were rumoured to have made a final bid of around €150m plus add-ons to entice Liverpool into selling.
Jurgen Klopp's side continued to dig their heels in, however, and remained steadfast in their refusal to sell the ex-Inter Milan starlet despite multiple offers from one of La Liga's giants and Coutinho handing in a transfer request in a bid to force through a transfer to Nou Camp.
Coutinho has not yet featured for Liverpool this season over a rumoured back injury, but the Brazil international played in his country's 2-0 2018 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador on Thursday - much to the chagrin of Liverpool's fans who had believed he was unavailable to play due to his injury.
Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group has consistently had to deny that they would sell Coutinho for any staggering fee for fear of reprisal from the Reds' fanbase, and the US-based businessmen have stuck to their word and prevented Coutinho from departing.
Klopp will now have to find a way to reintegrate an unhappy member of his squad back into the Liverpool first-team fold ahead of the upcoming slate of games once September's international break is over.