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Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho absent as Liverpool head to Dubai

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho has not travelled with the team for a warm weather training camp in Dubai.

Press Association Sport reports that the Brazil international, currently sidelined with a thigh injury, was among a number of first-team players -- undisclosed by the club -- who stayed behind on Merseyside.

Speculation has been growing about a renewed bid of potentially £140 million for Coutinho from Barcelona, who had three offers rejected -- the last totalling £118m -- in the summer.

Coutinho handed in a transfer request at the time in an attempt to force a move but was unsuccessful, although a back injury meant he did not feature for Liverpool in August anyway.

He has not played in either of the Reds' matches since the transfer window opened in January because of a minor thigh problem, but manager Jurgen Klopp said on Thursday he expects the 25-year-old to be fit for next Sunday's visit of Manchester City.

Press Association Sport reports that Liverpool have not yet received any approach from Barcelona for Coutinho in the current window.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez -- one of a number of first-teamers left out of the Foxes' FA Cup team to face Fleetwood on Saturday -- in the last couple of days.

However, Press Association Sport reports that the Merseysiders have contacted their Premier League counterparts to say they have no interest in the Algeria international and speculation is "complete fabrication."