- Lionel Messi has reportedly urged Barcelona to turn their interest away from Philippe Coutinho
- Catalan club linked with January move for Brazilian after failed summer pursuit
- Coutinho recently admitted he was unsure of what the future holds for him
- SEE MORE: Key Liverpool man appears to miss pre-Everton training session
Lionel Messi has reportedly offered an unintentional helping hand in Liverpool’s efforts to keep Philippe Coutinho at the club this January.
Speculation linking the Brazilian to Barcelona has mounted heavily in recent weeks, with the Catalan giants expected to reignite their interest when the transfer window re-opens.
The La Liga club seemingly have no intention of abandoning their pursuit after seeing three bids for the No.10 rejected by the Reds in the summer.
In keeping with an unusual theme that has emerged, Messi has told Barcelona to divert their attention away from Coutinho and instead try to sign Real Sociedad starlet Mikel Oryazabal, according to Spanish outlet Diario Gol.
It’s safe to assume there is little truth behind such suggestions, with Messi having also previously been reported to have encouraged Coutinho to move to the Nou Camp.
Having fought hard to stand by their stance and hold on to Coutinho during the summer, the onus is on owners Fenway Sports Group to resist any offers to come in following the turn of the year.
Jurgen Klopp deserves the opportunity to work with an uninterrupted squad in a campaign where Liverpool are not only striving to make an impact in Champions League but also fighting in a tight-contest to secure a place in Europe next season.