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Barcelona will now pursue another Liverpool star after accepting defeat with Philippe Coutinho

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Yesterday marked a big day for Liverpool in the saga surrounding Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian finally returning to the team's starting lineup.

It was the first time this season the diminutive playmaker appeared from the off, having made his initial comeback as a substitute in the 2-2 with Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Coutinho was embroiled in the most drawn out saga of the transfer window, with the 25-year-old evidently desperate to secure a big money move to Barcelona.

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The Blaugrana were on the hunt for Neymar's replacement and viewed his countryman as the ideal man to sit atop his throne.

But, Liverpool stood firm, rejecting bids like they were going out of fashion.

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Now, Coutinho simply has to get on with it and rediscover his best form, with a spot in Tite's Brazilian World Cup squad not a formality for the former Inter Milan man.

There had been reports that Barca would reignite their interest in him after the conclusion of the international showpiece in Russia, but that may not be the case anymore.

According to the Mirror, Ernesto Valverde's side may end their interest in Coutinho and instead, they will pursue his in-form teammate, Sadio Mane.

Liverpool FC v Sevilla FC - UEFA Champions League

The news will come as a devastating blow to Liverpool because they simply cannot endure another scenario like Coutinho in the coming windows.

Despite holding on to the Brazilian, it is clear that the ordeal was harmful to the club.

Mane has started the season in stunning form, scooping the Premier League Player of the Month for August and scoring in his opening three games.

Liverpool v Burnley - Premier League

However, he was controversially sent off in the 5-0 loss to Manchester City for a dangerous high foot which almost seriously injured Ederson.

Nevertheless, the Senegalese international would be the perfect fit for Barca, with his direct, skilful style ideal for the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Liverpool will have to make do without Mane for their next two Premier League fixtures and they noticeably struggled without him in the 1-1 draw with Burnley.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-BURNLEY

Coutinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge are all potential replacements, but it is clear that Klopp needs his talisman back as soon as possible.

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