5 Jun 2016

Leave Now: Legend urges 'amazing' €60m Liverpool star to quit Anfield and sign for Euro giants

In his recent autobiography, Reds legend Steven Gerrard predicted that Liverpool will lose 'amazing' attacker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a 'few seasons', but Catalan club's players are seemingly determined to convince the Brazilian to quit Anfield ASAP, with Dani Alves the latest Barca star to engage in blatant tapping-up.

Speaking to Yahoo Esportes this weekend, Alves noted:

"Liverpool have history but he [Coutinho] should consider playing for top UCL sides. He has the quality to play for Barcelona."

Over the last 12 months, three other Barcelona players have also suggested (either directly or indirectly) that Coutinho should move to the Nou Camp:

* May 2015: Ronaldinho told the Daily Mail: "I know what Barcelona look for and [Coutinho] has those qualities. Playing with Neymar, Messi, Suarez, Iniesta will make him a better player".

* Aug 2015: Luis Suarez enthused: "My favourite player in the Premier League is Philippe Coutinho".

* Sep 2015: Neymar told ESPN: "I see many Brazilian players with quality, but one I think could play here is Coutinho. He has the style of Barcelona."

After Liverpool's abject failure to progress this season, I'm sure Coutinho is already casting a covetous eye at Luis Suarez's success at the Nou Camp, though according to Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague, the Brazilian is not good enough for Barca.

"He [Coutino] is not Barcelona material. He is miles away from being a Barca player. He has potential, but in that department they are sorted."

Coutinho is prone to inconsistency (something I've highlighted many times) but his talent is undisputed, and he'd almost certainly up his game playing alongside Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta, Busquets at al.

Sturridge and Firmino aside, Coutinho plays alongside comparative dross at Liverpool (sorry, it's true!), and certain players are just not on his creative wavelength.

With Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, the chances of keeping €60m-rated Coutinho long-term appear to be strong, but even with a top manager at the helm, the lure of the Nou Camp may prove to be too strong.

Whether it's to Barcelona or PSG, Coutinho's exit is inevitable. He's already gone - Liverpool fans just haven't accepted it yet.


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