The 25-year-old is at the centre of the summer’s biggest transfer saga, with PSG ready to deposit his €222 million (£199m) release clause in a move that would shatter all previous transfer records.
Barca had been expected to launch a move for Coutinho as his replacement, but according to Spanish publication Sport, Neymar has made it his goal to get his countryman to move to Paris instead.
Neymar has dedicated his down time during Barca’s pre-season trip to the United States to sending an overwhelming number of WhatsApp messages to Coutinho to persuade him to decline the Catalan club’s overtures.
He wants to line up alongside his fellow Selecao teammate, who he has known since he was 14 years old, in a PSG shirt next season.
Neymar has already told PSG of his desire to play alongside his good friend Coutinho, though a second big-money deal would see the French giants run the risk of breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
That leaves Barcelona in a much better positon to land the Liverpool playmaker, given that they are about to receive a massive windfall from Neymar’s move to PSG.
Philippe Coutinho's 2016/17 PL statsAppearances31Starts28Goals13Assists7
Coutinho is top of their list of replacements, and he would be extremely keen on moving to Catalonia and filling the void left by Neymar despite his good friend’s pleas to move to the French capital.
It had been assumed that Barca’s interest was designed as a way of keeping Neymar happy and bolstering the number of Brazilians at the club to make him feel more settled – PSG have four high-profile Brazilians: Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura and Dani Alves.
Arsenal set to move for £36m Tottenham target after tabling fourth Lemar offer
Jurgen Klopp braced for £35million transfer offer for major Liverpool star
Man United star considering quitting club after Jose Mourinho transfer decision
But the Catalan club see Coutinho as an ideal replacement and perfect foil for Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, and their interest in genuine.
Liverpool will do everything possible to keep the playmaker at the club, though it now seems increasingly likely that his future lies away from Anfield.