After the likes of Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez have all left Liverpool for pastures new in recent years, fans are desperate not to see another star leave this summer.
That man is question is Philippe Coutinho. Reports this week suggested that both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are interested in the 23-year-old with the French club reportedly submitting a £23 million bid.
Coutinho only poured fuel onto the fire last week when he admitted that he “misses winning cups” - something he hasn’t achieved since he arrived on Merseyside in 2012.
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While Liverpool supporters would have been delighted to see Coutinho score a stunning hat-trick for Brazil against Haiti in their Copa America fixture on Thursday morning, his eye-catching performance was probably spotted by chiefs of potential suitors.
Not only did Coutinho take home the match ball following the 7-1 rout, two of his strikes were of the highest quality - which will no doubt add at least £5 million to his valuation.
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After the match, Coutinho was asked about the reported bid from PSG. Liverpool fans were desperately hoping for him to rule out any potential move and to commit his future to the club. Unfortunately, that didn’t come.
“As far as I know, there’s no offer,” he told reporters.
“I’m here with the national team, this subject is for my representatives. More important for me is to be here, focused on the national team and having a good tournament. That’s where my head is.”
Ok, it’s hard to interpret these quotes. Coutinho may have just been trying to ignore any talk of transfers to focus on Brazil. However, he could have ended all the speculation by insisting he wants to stay at Liverpool - something he failed to do.
With Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool unable to offer Coutinho any form of European football next season, the talented playmaker may seek a move if a big European club comes calling. While the Reds may be able to match any team in terms of a financial package, the Anfield outfit have suffered four trophyless campaigns and will have an almighty fight to hold on to their key man.
The Brazilian is contracted to the club until 2020 but if the likes of Barcelona come calling, it won’t be a surprise to see his head turned. One man that definitely thinks he should sign for the Camp Nou club is the departing Dani Alves.
Dani Alves on Coutinho
Alves told Yahoo Esportes, per Sky Sports: "Football is about living in the moment.
“Liverpool have history but you should consider playing for top UCL sides. He has the quality to play for Barcelona.”
In truth, it’s hard not to imagine the diminutive Coutinho in a Barcelona shirt producing moments of magic alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez on the biggest stage.
Klopp is going to need to work his magic to keep Coutinho at Liverpool over the coming months, it seems.
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