Liverpool owners say Philippe Coutinho is not for sale amid Barcelona interest
LIVERPOOL -- Liverpool's owners have said that "no offers for Philippe Coutinho will be considered" after two approaches from Barcelona.
Sources told ESPN FC on Wednesday that Liverpool had rejected a second bid from Barca worth up to €100 million (£90.7m).
The source said that Coutinho will not be sold and that Liverpool consider the matter closed, with the club's owners now publicly backing that stance up in a statement.
"We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho," a statement from Fenway Sports Group (FSG) read.
"The club's definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp welcomed the FSG statement at his news conference on Friday morning, but did say Coutinho would miss the club's Premier League opener against Watford on Saturday, adding he may not be fit for the first leg of the Champions League playoff with Hoffenheim in midweek.
"He has back problems and was not in training since last Friday," Klopp said. "So, no, he is not available and is also a doubt -- if he is not available for Saturday -- for Tuesday, unfortunately."
Barcelona's follow-up bid came after the Merseyside club first rejected a £72m offer for the Brazil international last month.
Coutinho signed a five-year contract at Anfield in January, with Liverpool ensuring that no release clause was inserted.
Daniel Sturridge also looks set to miss Saturday's trip to Vicarage Road with a thigh injury, joining Coutinho, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana as players currently unavailable to Klopp.
However, the Liverpool boss says the build-up of injuries throughout his squad will not force him to make compromises in the transfer market, having only made three signings so far this summer.
"If we bring in players we bring them in because I like them, because I want them," Klopp added.
"I'm not sure that's the right answer, but it's how I see it. There will not be a plan B or plan C or plan E. The players we bring in are plan A. I cannot buy a player just to have a player.
"Adam Lallana had this injury -- unlucky for all of us. Daniel had a fantastic preseason, but had a little thing and is close -- already close for this weekend, but for Tuesday it's pretty sure that he's ready.
"Clyney had a problem from the first day and now Phil with the back. That makes four players, which is not too cool.
"But now I have to make hard decisions because a few players showed up in the preseason, even when they are young and they have to prove their quality in the Premier League.
"Even now I have to make hard decisions, so I could go in the season with this squad. That's no problem and that's what we do actually. Then we will see what happens on Aug. 31."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.