The agent of Philippe Coutinho has revealed the former Red could only join Liverpool if he were to return to the Premier League.
Kia Joorabchian, who represents the Brazilian, was asked by talkSPORT host Jim White about rumours linking Coutinho with a two-year loan move back to Liverpool.
The 27-year-old could reportedly return to Anfield in a temporary deal with an option to buy permanently for £88million.
Joorabchian, however, made it clear that Barcelona’s stance on the midfielder remains unchanged.
“I don’t know about those stories,” Joorabchian said. “Bartomeu was very clear with me, saying he doesn’t want the player to leave and he has a future there.
“They made a tremendous effort to bring him over, he is Barcelona’s most expensive signing in history and the second or third most expensive signing in the world.
“He had an amazing Copa America, he was rated in the team of the Copa America, he won the Copa America with Brazil and he’s won three trophies since he’s been at Barcelona in the last two years – so he’s had a great time there.
“As things happen in football, sometimes players feel a bit uncomfortable about somewhere, sometimes it’s the clubs that just don’t quite fit.
“If that happens obviously we’ll decide what’s best for Philippe, but at the moment we’re being told that’s not happening, it’s fine.”
Joorabchian added: “Manchester United is a great club, I have players there and I have all the respect for them, but as far as Philippe goes it would be an extremely difficult to a near-impossible move.
“It would be very difficult for Philippe to play for any of Liverpool’s rivals, because he has such a great affinity towards Liverpool. His time there was fantastic.
“Yes, but like all big players at some point, you want to experience a different thing in your career because your career is very short, but it [his Anfield exit] has no reflection on the fact his heart and affinity is very much with Liverpool.
“I know he was cheering every time they had the chance. Lucas Leiva is the same way. A lot of these guys who leave Liverpool remain Liverpool fans because of the fans and the passion they have.
“So it would be hard for him to go to a rival.
“Every time we’ve spoken about it we’ve had that same conversation, he would find it hard to play for another club in the Premier League.”
The agent was skeptical about whether or not Coutinho would even have a place in Jurgen Klopp’s current Liverpool squad.
“The thing is, Liverpool have built a tremendous squad, the manager has a great balance there and it’s probably one of the run football clubs in the country,” he said.
“So with the build-up they’ve done and the squad they have, it [signing Coutinho] would really have to be something they would have to decide whether or not they feel there is now a current gap in the squad for someone life Philippe.
“I think it’s going to be a very difficult deal, but most of the big ones are always very, very difficult.
“Obviously if he were to move back [to the Premier League], it would have to be Liverpool, but at the moment I think it would be difficult and it would be up to them.”