Already this season Neymar has spoken out in the media about Coutinho’s wonderful talents in an attempt to lure the 23-year-old to Barcelona, and David Luiz has suggested a transfer is on the horizon too.
But former Brazil captain Lucio has gone against the South American grain and claimed that Coutinho should stay with Liverpool to maximise his potential – as the superstars at Barcelona mean he’ll only be a bit part player.
“If it was my decision, I would stay. If I was Coutinho, I would not leave Liverpool,” the ex-Bayer Leverkusen and Inter Milan legend told IBTimes UK.
“Barcelona have several star players like Messi, Suarez and Neymar. If Coutinho joins Barcelona, he has to play wherever the coach wants him to play, which would be to fill in here and there.
“In the last season, Coutinho was the standout player for Liverpool. He can continue there and can go on to become a very big player for them.
“Regarding his future, it is a decision only Coutinho could take, but as a friend I would suggest him to stay at Liverpool.”
Lucio certainly makes a point. At Liverpool, Coutinho has a charismatic new manager ready to make him the creative pivot of the side, while at Barcelona he’ll undeniably be battling with others for minutes – perhaps often in unfavoured positions.
But Neymar wants his boyhood friend to join him at the Nou Camp, and David Luiz (the worst ‘good’ defender in the world) – reckons our playmaker should be plying his trade at a higher level.
“I think there are many players with great qualities that could be playing for Barcelona,” Neymar said (via Sky Sports).
“One of them is [Philippe] Coutinho. He is a great player and his style suits Barcelona.”
“Coutinho made the choice to stay at Liverpool without Champions League football this season. I don’t think he will make that choice again,” the PSG centre-back added at the start of October (via Goal).
“The best need to be playing with the best. Coutinho is the best midfielder in England right now. That is great for him, but when you play at that level the big clubs will notice you.”
Right now, it’s irrelevant linking Coutinho with anyone as the transfer window is closed and he’s not actually playing anywhere near well enough to earn a move to the planet’s best side.
Hopefully that changes in the coming months, but Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool revolution proves an attractive enough proposition for the Brazilian to stay on Merseyside regardless.