Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been offered a new deal to remain at Anfield, and manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to tie him to it before the new season starts, according to The Guardian.
The Brazilian joined from Inter Milan in January 2013 for £8.5million after struggling to become a starter in the Italian side. However, he made an immediate impact on Merseyside, becoming a regular in the Liverpool starting XI and a key player in Rodgers’ present and future plans.
His superb form has been rewarded by the Northern Irishman, who wishes for Coutinho to commit his long-term future at the club. Speaking after Liverpool’s 3-1 pre-season defeat to
Manchester United, Rodgers said: "I am not sure when it will be done. I haven’t spoken to any of the directors in the last few days so I am not sure where we are on that, but obviously he is someone we want to tie up for a period of time.
“I am sure I will hear more about it when I get back on Tuesday.”
Coutinho scored five goals in 37 appearances for the Reds last season, including the winning strike in the 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Anfield.
The Brazilian has been somewhat a breathe of fresh air for last season’s Premier League runners up. He showcased that he has the ability on the ball to glide past defenders and hit inch perfect through balls that cut defences open and provide assists. He gained a superb understanding with Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling and will likely improve that this campaign.
Coutinho to stay
The 22-year-old has an excellent pre-season and Rodgers is seemingly dismissing any potential threat of a top European club putting a bid in for Coutinho. There were links earlier this summer that Real Madrid were interested in signing him, however that looks highly unlikely now.
Furthermore, with the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and Rodgers not yet finding a replacement, the Liverpool boss may require Coutinho to play a bigger role in the side. Although he was key to success at the Reds last season, he could be forced to step up his efforts and become the focal point moving forward.