Reports: Coutinho asks to leave Liverpool as Barcelona circles

Widespread reports have claimed that Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request at Liverpool as Barcelona circle the Brazilian.

The Brazilian midfielder has been with the Merseyside club since 2013.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request at Liverpool, according to widespread reports.

Coutinho has emerged as a top target for Barca as it looks to replace Neymar, following his €222million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Reds are reported to have turned down two bids from the LaLiga giants, the second worth an estimated £100m, and Fenway Sports Group - Liverpool's owners - released a statement on Friday insisting that further offers for the Brazilian would not be considered.

However, just a few short hours later, it emerged that Coutinho had reportedly demanded a departure from Anfield.

The move will boost Barca in its attempt to replace Neymar, after seeing a bid for Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele rejected on Thursday.

The France winger was sanctioned by Dortmund for failing to report for training on the same day.

Coutinho will be out of action this weekend when Liverpool begin its Premier League campaign against Watford due to a back injury.

He scored 13 goals and assisted seven more in 31 Premier League appearances last term, helping Jurgen Klopp's side finish fourth.

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