Barcelona give up on Coutinho

Barcelona have ended their interest in signing Philippe Coutinho.

The Spanish club gave Liverpool a 7pm ultimatum on Sunday to accept their third and final offer of £118m, but they received no response.

Liverpool have maintained that their Brazilian playmaker is going nowhere, having signed a new five-year contract at the start of the year. With no release clause in that contract, they were within their rights to stand firm.

When asked repeatedly over the last couple of weeks, manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the player is staying and is absent from the team because of a back injury…

It now looks like Barcelona will have to look elsewhere for their Neymar replacement – Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele and Nice midfielder Jean Seri appear to top that wanted list – while Klopp needs to integrate Coutinho back into the squad and hope he returns to the form he showed in pre-season.