Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s U18 coach, is under little doubt that Coutinho will eventually leave to join Barcelona…
Liverpool rejected multiple bids from the Spaniards for his services during the summer, with Coutinho handing in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move.
We refused, leaving the Brazilian dejected that his career ambitions had been scuppered in such a manner.
However, he’s hit his best form for us already, registering an assist and scoring a world-class free-kick at the weekend against Leicester City.
Gerrard thinks that it’s only a matter of time before the Catalans come back for Phil.
“[Liverpool should] Pray! He’s South American, his dream is to go to Barcelona,” Gerrard said at the weekend, reported in Goal.
“I think the key in this situation is do Barcelona come back? Or are they upset that he hasn’t come?
“Liverpool will want to keep him for a long, long time, there’s no doubt about that. They love him.”
“He produces moments of genius and he’s a world class footballer.
“Barcelona don’t come for you for that amount of money unless you’re world class.
“Liverpool need to try and keep hold of him for as long as possible because with him in the team, when Sadio Mane comes back, we know Liverpool will score heavily and they will be one of the most exciting teams in the league.”
There’s no way we’ll sell Coutinho in January, but can see us relenting and letting him join Barcelona for an absurd fee next summer.
We’ll have Naby Keita arriving as an immediate central midfield replacement anyway, so we’ll hopefully have around £200m to reinvest in some top talent.
For now, it’s purely this season we’re focussing on. With Coutinho at his best, anything is possible.