• Participation in the Champions League means the Catalans will not return for the Brazil international.
  • Coutinho would be cup tied for Barca during the knock-out stages if he left Anfield.
  • Defensive target Stefan de Vrij to hold contract talks with Lazio with less than 12 months to run on current deal.

Barcelona have shelved plans to attempt to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the January transfer window after the Brazil playmaker appeared in the first round of Champions League group matches this week.

The 25-year-old played the last 14 minutes of the Reds' 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Wednesday (13 September) meaning he would be ineligible for any other club during the second half of the campaign.

Reports had suggested Coutinho was prepared to refuse to play in Europe's premier club competition to keep alive hopes of moving to the Nou Camp, but those suggestions have now been quashed after he replaced Emre Can at Anfield to make his first competitive outing of the season.

Marca understand any possible deal for the winter window is dead in the water and there is not yet any indication their interest will resume next summer.

The Catalan giants had three bids rejected for Coutinho by Liverpool, who insisted throughout the summer that their star player was not for sale. Barca eventually gave up their pursuit of the ex-Inter Milan schemer in the twilight of the window and alleged that the Premier League side had demanded €200m for his signature, a claim the Merseysiders have denied.

Ernesto Valverde's side will now seemingly turn attention to trying to sign Jean Michael Seri after abandoning a move for the Nice midfielder at the 11th hour in the transfer window. The Ivory Coast international was braced to join Barcelona but the La Liga giants withdrew from talks at the last minute.

Liverpool's own January transfer plans have also been derailed after reports in Italy claimed that Stefan de Vrij is in talks to sign a new contract with Lazio. The Netherlands international's deal in Rome expires in 2018, when he could be available on a free, sparking interest from across Europe.

But according to according to Il Corriere dello Sport, Lazio's sporting director Igli Tare will meet with De Vrij's representatives to discuss a new one-year deal to ward off interest from clubs across the continent. The report adds that the new deal will include a release clause worth €27m (£24.7m), but that Liverpool are ready to match that valuation in the January window.

Philippe Coutinho
Then moment Barcelona's hopes of signing Coutinho in January ended. Getty Images