'Go where you feel happy': Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho advised as Barcelona links linger

Premier League transfer deadline day deals that could be madeNewsweek

Brazil boss Tite has told Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho to go where he feels happiest as speculation regarding a lucrative switch to Barcelona continues to linger as we head into the final stages of a busy summer transfer window.

The Catalan giants have tabled three official offers for their key target over recent weeks, although all have been swiftly rebuffed as their Premier League counterparts stand firm on the future of such an important asset.

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Coutinho, who only signed a new long-term contract in January that does not contain any buyout clause, is keen on a switch to the Nou Camp and earlier this month submitted an emailed transfer request that was flatly rejected.

The 25-year-old has not featured in any of Liverpool's opening five games of the 2017-18 seaon due to a combination of illness and a persistent back issue, although was named in the Brazil squad for World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia.

"I can't assess Coutinho in financial terms," Tite was quoted as saying by Goal before Thursday night's (31 August) first clash with Ecuador in Porto Alegre.

"My thing is in the pitch, that's my concern. We have different realities. But I've talked to Coutinho, told him the same I've told you: go where you feel happy. If it's Liverpool, I'll be ok. If it's another one, I'll be ok.

"I have to know my limits. I don't have to have opinion about everything. I don't want to be a showman, to be talking about everything. I'm very discreet in this kind of things. And fair. And justice is that he can be happy. I don't know which club he's going to. He'll decide it. But the Brazilian squad won't lose him."

Barcelona's chances of signing Coutinho before the Spanish transfer window closes on Friday evening appear to remain slim at this stage, although it remains to be seen if Liverpool might alter their hardline stance if they follow the arrival of Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a deal for Thomas Lemar of AS Monaco.

Yahoo Sports recently claimed that the Blaugrana would pay up to €160m (£147.2m, $189.6m) to make the former Inter Milan schemer the focal point of a summer haul that has thus far included Ousmane Dembele, Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon Santos.

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Tite, who admits that such a protracted transfer saga has had an impact on Coutinho, named his squad for the latest round of international fixtures two weeks ago and the player in question was subsequently cleared to train with his Selecao teammates after being assessed by Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) doctor Rodrigo Lasmar.

A separate physician attributed his back issue to stress brought about by pressure and gnawing uncertainty over the future.

Philippe Coutinho has trained with Brazil this week after playing no part for Liverpool in their opening five matchesGetty Images

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