Football

Liverpool linked with Brazilian playmaker - reports

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Inter playmaker Philippe Coutinho has played down speculation he could leave Italy for Liverpool.

The 19-year-old Brazilian has rarely featured for the Nerazzurri since the arrival of Claudio Ranieri, but the midfielder insists he is happy at the San Siro.

Coutinho's best form came under the guidance of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez - who coached Inter last year, before he was sacked by the Serie A outfit.

Benitez is believed to have recommended the South American starlet to current Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish - urging him to do everything he can to bring him to Anfield when the transfer window reopens in January.

However, any hopes the Merseysiders had of sealing his signature have been dealt a major blow after Coutinho reiterated his commitment to Milan.

"I am grateful to Benitez, he gave me new positions and many chances," he is quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

"Ranieri is telling me to remain calm and to do in the game the same things I am doing in training. I feel a lot of energy and if he asks me to play I will be ready."

When asked about rumours of possible interest from the Barclays Premier League, Coutinho played down the likelihood of a move to Liverpool, by saying his future remains in Italy.

"The transfer rumours? I can't decide the future by myself," he added. "[But] if it was up to me, I would stay forever in an Inter shirt."

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Liverpool

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