Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool he wishes to leave the club hours after the club issued a defiant statement insisting they will not accept any offers for the Brazil playmaker.
Barcelona saw their second bid for the 25-year-old, said to be worth £90m, rejected by the Merseyside club on Wednesday. Club owners Fenway Sports Group followed that up with an official statement on Friday that 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."
However, numerous reports now state Coutinho has informed the club of his decision to leave Anfield.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Coutinho made the transfer request via email at 1pm on Friday afternoon, just three hours after the statement from FSG. Liverpool however remain adamant the player will not be sold.
Coutinho's bombshell drops less than 24 hours before the club's Premier League curtain raiser against Watford on Saturday. The former Inter Milan schemer has already been ruled out of the first match of the season due to a back problem which flared up during the club's pre-season campaign.
Barcelona are flush with cash after the £198m sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, but have so far been frustrated in attempts to prise one of their chief transfer targets away from his club. Previous reports from The Times have suggested an agreement can be reached for a fee in the range of £120m ($155m).