- Jamie Carragher offers logical advice to Liverpool over Philippe Coutinho
- Barcelona expected to launch £133million bid for Brazilian
- Coutinho believes he has played last game for Liverpool
- SEE MORE: 21-year-old winger set for surprise return to Liverpool
Jamie Carragher insists there is no upside to Liverpool allowing Philippe Coutinho to join Barcelona during the January transfer window.
An apparent change in tone on Merseyside has seen the Reds seemingly shift from an insistence the Brazilian would not be sold this season to a more open-minded approach to negotiating with Barcelona.
Having resisted three bids and a formal transfer request from Coutinho during the summer, Liverpool will reportedly consider selling the No.10 if the right offer comes in before the end of the month.
Carragher has urged the club to match the stance RB Leipzig took with regards to their sale of Naby Keita by holding out until the end of the season.
Best thing @LFC is agree the BIG fee for Coutinho to go in the summer like we’ve done with Keita, not now. What do the club gain by doing it now? Top 4 & CL progression seriously risked if they sell in Jan, & difficult to replace him now. If he goes on strike he damages himself.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 3, 2018
The admirable fashion in which Coutinho has worked and performed since failing to secure his summer move means the club need have little concern over his commitment were he to be refused a January transfer as well.
His desire to seal a switch now appears primarily fuelled by a minor fear that Barcelona may have moved on from him by the end of the season. Of course, if he maintains the world class form he has displayed of late then that wouldn’t be the case.
Liverpool not only have the power to demand a significantly higher fee than the £118million offered in August, but also good reason to refuse selling their talisman mid-way through the campaign ahead of the Champions League knockout stages and a demanding fight for a top four finish.
Reds will also argue Coutinho being ineligible to play in Europe for Barcelona and the Catalan giants’ unbeaten start to the La Liga season mark added reasons to stand firm.
Liverpool have no reason to sell and Coutinho himself can’t afford to be disgruntled if forced to wait longer.