Philippe Coutinho could leave Liverpool next summer if the Reds don’t secure Champions League football, according to former Chelsea star David Luiz.
The Liverpool playmaker’s international teammate, who himself left England for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, revealed his belief that Coutinho won’t opt to remain at Anfield much longer if playing in Europe’s premier club competition isn’t on the table.
Luiz in Coutinho
Coutinho was loosely linked with moves away from the Reds in the summer but chose to pledge his immediate future to Brendan Rodgers’ plans. That might not be the case when we arrive at the end of the current campaign, Luiz has inferred.
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“Coutinho made the choice to stay at Liverpool without Champions League football this season. I don’t think he will make that choice again," Luiz said, as per the Daily Mirror.
“The best need to be playing with the best. Coutinho is the best midfield player in England right now. That is great for him, but when you play at that level the big clubs will notice you.
“If Liverpool don’t qualify this season for the Champions League, I am sure he will be the most in-demand player in Europe next summer.”
Coutinho exit possible?
It must be said that Luiz probably isn’t privy to the innermost workings of Coutinho’s mind, so what he’s saying can hardly be taken as gospel.
However, that said the fact remains that the young midfielder is rapidly growing in stature and even former captain Steven Gerrard highlighted the fact he could be targeted by either Barcelona or Real Madrid in the near future.
Big club ambition
If and when that happens, Rodgers - providing he’s still manager at Anfield - will have to use every tactic at his disposal to stop Coutinho leaving, just as Luis Suarez did last year.
After all, if the 23-year-old continues to impress there’s only so much keeping him at Liverpool. If the club can’t match his ambitions it’s only a matter of time before he looks for newer, potentially greener, pastures.
Liverpool fans, do you agree with Luiz? Is Champions League football vital this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.