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What exactly is going on with Coutinho and Barcelona?

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Attempting to separate the facts from the fiction

Liverpool FC v Leicester City FC: Premier League Asia Trophy Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Not so long ago the speculation surrounding Marco Verratti and Barcelona was reaching fever pitch, fast forward a few months and it’s now all about Philippe Coutinho.

Yet there are so many conflicting reports flying about it’s difficult to comprehend exactly what is happening. Clearly there is interest, but is he coming? Or will it end the same way for Barcelona as it did with Verratti?

The speculation has certainly gone up a notch this week with multiple outlets reporting a Barcelona delegation had left Spain for the UK to try and seal a deal.

Just yesterday ESPN Deportes' Jordi Blanco, went a step further reporting Barcelona and Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle and that the Brazilian has made it clear he wants to leave.

At the same time, Sport were reporting that a move is just “hours away” and that he will be presented as a Barcelona player this week.

Liverpool FC v Leicester City FC: Premier League Asia Trophy Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

We also had Duncan Castles at Yahoo Sport UK reporting on Coutinho’s “training ground protest” and how he was barely putting in any effort in a bid to force a move.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, that line was swiftly shot down by the Mirror, who state that actually the Liverpool star has shown a “fantastic attitude” in training and is “focused” ahead of their opening Premier League game.

So far, so confusing right? But, don’t worry it looks like there is plenty more to come.

Goal’s Liverpool correspondent Melissa Reddy reports that Liverpool have not agreed a deal at all, nor held a meeting and that he is simply not for sale.

Meanwhile, over at BT Sport, commentator Andy May claims to have received an email from Barcelona who plan to present Coutinho on Friday.

Even Steven Gerrard has been asked about his views on the subject and he feels Coutinho will have to go to war with Liverpool to force an exit.

“We’re not a selling club so they’re gonna do everything in their power for him to stay,” he told BT Sport.

“But at the end of the day it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he’s prepared to do, what type of war he’s prepared to create to get out because Liverpool won’t make it easy for him.”

Like with Verratti, the message from Liverpool is loud and clear. And unless Coutinho is willing to force through an ugly exit, which seems unlikely, Barca’s transfer window woes could be set to continue.