According to reports in The Sun, Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho is set to ignore advances from Barcelona this summer, after insisting he’s focused on the Reds.
Stories from Spain last month had claimed that Liverpool would listen to offers of £75 million or above for the 25-year-old, with SPORT suggesting the wheels were already in motion ahead of a switch.
Yet, speaking whilst on international duty with Brazil, Coutinho said:
“Talking about this is complicated. I have a contract with my club and it is long. So my focus is on the present and the national team. My focus is here.”
This news will no doubt come as a huge sigh of relief for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool supporters across the globe, with Coutinho undeniably a stand-out and world-class player in the Anfield ranks.
Despite missing seven games during the festive period, Coutinho still managed to find the net 13 times and contribute seven assists this year, being directly involved in just under 25% of Liverpool’s goal tally.
There’s no doubt that he has blossomed into the main threat in Liverpool’s side – even when considering their depth of attacking options – and he’s frequently the source of the Reds’ creativity.
65 clear-cut chances created in front of goal is a total that is only trumped by fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino (who played four games more) and there’s no denying that Coutinho has the key to unlock any Premier League defence with his range of skill, acceleration, vision and endless energy.
His tendency for the spectacular has also become a huge part of his game, with Coutinho loving nothing more than utilising his dangerous right foot; since the 2012/13 Premier League season, no other player in the top-flight has scored more goals from outside the area than the exciting Brazilian.
With Liverpool set to embark on a Champions League campaign for the first time since their group stage exit three years ago, the tricky Brazilian could play a huge role in determining how far they go.
Plus with the Reds well-equipped to challenge both in Europe and on a domestic stage – depending on the additions they make in the window – it could be worth sticking at Anfield for another season.
The fact that he was made captain for Brazil during the recent international break shows just how much his confidence and leadership has come on, and all eyes will be on him once more this season.
Speaking to SPORT about his captain, Brazil’s national boss Tite claimed that the 25-year-old would be the perfect fit for the La Liga side, however. Adding fuel to the fire that a move isn’t off the table yet.
“It absolutely makes sense for me that Barcelona are after him”, he said.
“I do not want to be pretentious about Barcelona, but who would not want a player like Coutinho, with his magic, his ability to invent and create, to change the rhythm and to build play?”
Despite the Liverpool playmaker insisting that his focus is firmly on Liverpool next season – even more so after signing a five-year deal at Anfield in January – expect this saga to rumble on all summer.
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