Football

Philippe Coutinho.

How bookies have reacted to Philippe Coutinho's comments about Liverpool future

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Liverpool's 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday was well and truly the Philippe Coutinho show.

A 49-minute hat-trick from the Brazilian capped a stunning display at Anfield to end what has been a successful group stages for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Liverpool progress into the last 16 as group winners and with Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino fronting their attack, they have a great chance of going far.

But Coutinho's performance may have come at a price. In the hours since the game, rumours have resurfaced linking him with a big-money January move to Barcelona.

Barca, who failed in their attempts to sign Coutinho over the summer, are still very interested in signing the 25-year-old and will try again next month.

A fee in the region of £140 million has been touted and now Coutinho has confronted the rumours by saying he doesn't know what the future holds in January.

"I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters," he said. "I do not know how the future is going to be.

"What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

"Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire."

FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-SPARTAK

So not only is Coutinho aware of Barcelona's interest, but he was interested in joining them when the offers came through over the summer.

Not exactly what Liverpool fans wanted to hear - but it gets worse.

In light of Coutinho's admission, bookmakers Betway - among others - have suspended betting on Coutinho joining Barcelona in January out of fear it's inevitable.

According to Betway representative Alan Algar, per Odds Bible, they were inundated with bets on Coutinho's uncertain future and so decided to shut it down.

Spartak Moskva v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League

"His dream move to Barcelona didn't materialise in summer, but we're taking no risks on Philippe Coutinho being granted his wish in January after reports Liverpool have agreed a deal with the Catalan Giants," said Mr Algar.

"Jurgen Klopp has done little to quash the rumours when asked whether the Brazilian would be at Liverpool in February, yet further indication that Coutinho is destined to bid farewell to Anfield.

"After heightened betting activity on Thursday, running in line with reports a deal has been agreed, we've decided to suspend betting on the 24-year-old making the switch to the Nou Camp in the upcoming transfer window."

Make of that what you will, but when bookmakers start suspending betting odds over the future of a player, you can't help but feel it's not going to end well.

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Topics:
Barcelona
Liverpool
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Mohamed Salah
Football
Roberto Firmino
Philippe Coutinho

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