Odds shorten on Coutinho leaving Liverpool for Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho has dominated the transfer gossip pages during this window amid widespread reports that the Liverpool star is wanted by Barcelona.

The Brazilian seemed to put speculation to bed in January when he signed a new long-term contract at Anfield.

However, according to Sky Sports, Coutinho is now keen on moving to Camp Nou and he recently submitted a transfer request in order to push a deal through.

Liverpool are standing firm, though, and they made it clear in a statement released last week that their star man is not for sale.

Speculation has quietened down over the last couple of days, but now, Barcelona general manager Pep Segura has been quoted saying that a deal for the playmaker is “close”, reports The Telegraph.

The comments seem to have affected the bookmakers, with Sky Bet shortening odds from 4/6 to 8/15 on Coutinho becoming part of the Catalan club before the transfer window shuts in two weeks’ time.

Despite the Reds’ public stance regarding the situation, Betfred believes that the likelihood of the 25-year-old staying put is slim, as it has lengthened its odds to 5/4.

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013, missed the Reds’ opening Premier League 3-3 draw with Watford and Tuesday night’s Champions League qualifying first-leg win over Hoffenheim due to a back injury.