​Philippe Coutinho's proposed move to Barcelona may have fallen through because of Lionel Messi's insistence on not using current stars in a swap move.

Coutinho handed a transfer request this summer and it looked for all the world like the Brazil star was going to make the switch to La Liga in a deal worth around £100m.

Liverpool, however, remained steadfast on their approach and refused to sell, rejecting three bids - the most recent of which totalled £118m including all add ons.


However, Don Balon (via the ​Liverpool Echo) say the deal hasn't materialised because club talisman Messi didn't want to see either Ivan Rakitic or Sergi Roberto used as makeweight in the deal to persuade Liverpool into selling.

It has become very apparent over the years how much power and status Messi holds at the Nou Camp - given his ability on the pitch it is hardly surprising - and the Spanish publication report that the Argentine stood in the way of the Coutinho move in order to protect Rakitic or Roberto from leaving.


Don Balon do however say that Messi would not have blocked the move if it involved Arda Turan, Andre Gomes or Paco Alcacer instead.

Messi will be desperate for the Blaugrana to conduct some transfer business in the next week or so, with time fast running out until deadline day and Luis Suarez out injured for five weeks - Ousmane Dembele remains the club's top priority.