Football

Philippe Coutinho, Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez explains why Coutinho is better staying at Liverpool after Barcelona bids

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Rafa Benitez is definitely still fondly remembered by the red half of Merseyside.

The Spaniard had a fine six-year spell as Liverpool boss until 2010 and he famously oversaw the Miracle in Istanbul in 2005 when the Reds won the Champions League against AC Milan.

Since then, Benitez has had spells with Real Madrid and Napoli, but now he finds himself back in England with sleeping giant Newcastle United.

After guiding the Magpies back to England's top-flight following a year in the Championship, the Toon have made a decent start to life back in the Premier League with three wins from their first six games.

On Sunday, they host Benitez's old flame at St James' Park with Liverpool entering the game with only one win in their last six games.

During the summer, the Reds' prized asset, Philippe Coutinho, was linked with a massive money move to Barcelona but ultimately Liverpool resisted the cash.

However, according to Benitez, Coutinho should be looking to stay at Liverpool regardless seeing as the club moving in the right direction.

"With the new owners, they have spent some money and have a good team. So I understand some players when they are thinking about to go because they have big offers," Benitez told Sky Sports.

FC Internazionale Milano Training and Press Conference

"But still, Coutinho is in a very good team, very good side, very strong club," Benitez continued. "So I think he will be fine. He's scoring goals already. I know him because he was my player at Inter Milan as a young player, he's a very good player."

The 57-year-old reiterated that Coutinho had every right to have his head turned by an offer from Barcelona, but he's already in a top side.

"To be there [Liverpool], I think he will be fine. You can understand - as I said before - players receiving massive offers, but anyway, he's in a top side."

Liverpool fans are sure to enjoy Benitez's thoughts on Coutinho's future, now they have to hope the Brazilian feels the same.

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