Many Liverpool fans will disagree what Rickie Lambert has said about Philippe Coutinho

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Philippe Coutinho's potential move to Barcelona is heating up again with less than a month until the transfer window opens.

Speculation is already beginning, with the Brazilian recently refusing to rule out the move when pressed on it in midweek.

As the Catalans prepare their next offer, and Liverpool think of more ways that 'we don't want to sell' can get across, the pressure on both sides is mounting.

Barcelona are still in need of a big name signing after the Neymar debacle, especially after the long-term injury to summer recruit Ousmane Dembélé.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are desperate to hold onto their star man - especially after a string of high-profile sales in the past - as they look to keep from derailing a promising season.

But one former Liverpool striker believes it should never have gotten this far, with both teams looking to make or break a season halfway through.

Rickie Lambert, who played for alongside Coutinho in his sole season at Anfield, has explained why he believes that the club should have sold the 25-year-old in the summer.

"He's a lovely lad, he just gets on with his football, it means the world to him," said Lambert on BBC 5-Live. "He's given everything for Liverpool. Everything.

"I would have been gutted if had left but I would have appreciated everything he gave to the club. The fact that he's stayed I cannot understand any reason for Liverpool to sell him in January. It does not make sense."

Lambert, a boyhood Liverpool fan who was born on Merseyside, then outlined his reasoning for selling Coutinho last summer - offering a unique perspective.

"I'm probably going to get a little bit of stick for this but I think Liverpool should have let him go," Lambert explained.

"He asked to go. I know it was late in the transfer window, and I can understand why we kept hold of him, but if he's made the effort to come and say he wants to go, given everything he's done for the club, I thought he would have been allowed to go."

While it's a position that most Liverpool fans don't take, Lambert does talk from experience. He was granted a free transfer to Liverpool after years of service with Southampton, helping them to promotions from League One to the Premier League.

Coutinho would likely cost Barcelona just a little bit more than 'nothing', however.

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Philippe Coutinho
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