Barcelona finally admit defeat, £118m pursuit over means joy for Euro rivals

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Barcelona have reportedly given up their pursuit of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, with the Reds winning the battle to keep hold of him.

The 25-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to join the Catalan giants for weeks, and was seemingly trying to push the move through after handing in a transfer request.

Despite that and Barcelona’s improved offers, The Mirror note that Liverpool held firm throughout with their resolve never wavering, and despite a final £118m bid with a deadline in place to accept, the Reds have rejected it and maintained that Coutinho is not for sale.

In turn, after three failed bids and a situation which has dragged on for weeks after Neymar secured his big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalan giants have been left empty-handed and will have to now continue to look elsewhere at other targets.

Time will tell what this now means for Coutinho though, as after handing in that request coupled with the fact that he has yet to feature this season due to a reported back injury, it remains to be seen if he can integrate back into the line-up with no fuss this season and prove his loyalty and worth.

As for Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele has also been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp, as noted in the report, and so perhaps the French youngster will now be the man to fill the void left by Neymar, with the Spanish outfit desperate to add reinforcements before the deadline.

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