21 Feb 2016

Next to Leave? 'Sensational' £41m Liverpool star reacts to transfer speculation; confirms he's 'happy' at LFC

In his recent autobiography, Reds legend Steven Gerrard predicted that Liverpool will lose Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a 'few seasons', and earlier this season, Neymar became the latest Barca star to his Brazilian compatriot to quit Anfield and sign for Barcelona. Should Reds fans be worried? Apparently not, as Coutinho insists that he isn't affected by subtle attempts to tap him up.

In September, Neymar told ESPN:

"I see many Brazilian players with quality, But one that I like and I think could play here is Coutinho. He has the style of Barcelona."

There seems to be a concerted effort to get £41m-rated Coutinho to quit Anfield. Other recent examples:

* May 2015: Ronaldinho told the Daily Mail: "I know what Barcelona look for in a player and he [Coutinho] has those qualities. Barcelona and Coutinho would be the perfect fit".

* Aug 2015: When asked to name his favourite Premier League player, Luis Suarez enthused: "My favourite player at the moment in the Premier League is [Liverpool attacker] Philippe Coutinho".

* Sep 2015: David Luiz mused: "The best need to be playing with the best. If Liverpool don’t qualify for the Champions League, I am sure he [Coutinho] will be the most in demand player in Europe".

Reacting to Neymar's comments this week, Coutinho told World Soccer magazine that he's 'flattered' by Neymar's comments, but insisted that he's 'happy at Liverpool' and 'really enjoying the moment'. He further added:

"Nobody knows what will happen in the future but...being here at Liverpool is a dream come true. I am already playing in the best league in the world and I have a number of years left on my contract".

Nice to hear, but what else is he going to say in public? Like Mascherano, Alonso, Torres, and Suarez (three of whom left LFC for La Liga), Coutinho - described by Brendan Rodgers as 'sensational - will only 'make do' for a certain period of time before he gets fed up and quits the club.

With Jurgen Klopp now at Anfield, the chances of keeping Coutinho long-term can only increase, but even with a top-class manager at the helm, the lure of the Nou Camp may ultimately prove to be too strong.

I personally can't see Coutinho staying for more than one more season *unless* Liverpool qualify for the Champions League in 2016-17.

Author: Jaimie K


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