Alex Rogers discusses whether or not Liverpool have any chance of holding onto influential playmaker Philippe Coutinho this summer with Barcelona lurking.
Coutinho is, undoubtedly, one of our standout players of recent years. Some of the things he can do with a football should not be legal. His silky dribbling past players as if they were children and his world renowned long range goals can make a grown man cry. Well, that last bit may just be me.
It’s arguable that Coutinho is our most valuable player at this moment in time in terms of how much money we could demand for him if a club wanted his services. Anything less than £50 million would be daylight robbery.
But being one of the biggest names in England attracts attention. Attention that could be very agreeable for a man like Philippe. Of course, I’m talking about the consistent links with Barcelona.
To an outsider, it would seem like a clear cut decision for Coutinho if the links were to be true. He would obviously choose Barcelona. Why wouldn’t he? The chance to play with the best players in the world, Champions League football, better weather and a culture with more similarities to his native country of Brazil than the north-west of England does.
But it may not be as clear cut as that. On the surface, you’d think that it would be a real struggle to keep hold on to Coutinho, but maybe it won’t be.
Coutinho has stated on many occasions that he’s very happy at Liverpool and that he loves the city and the people. Couple that with the contract he signed in January, keeping him at the club until 2022 and it would seem that it’s not as black and grey as it seems.
However, a new contract doesn’t guarantee that he will stay. Suarez signed a new contract just before he left us. And of course, a player is going to say he loves playing at the club. He’d be foolish to say anything but positives about his current club.
Despite this, I have a gut feeling that Coutinho genuinely loves the club and would prefer to stay. I don’t know why, but that’s just how I feel. It’s not unheard of for a Liverpool player to turn down bigger clubs in favour of staying. Who knows, maybe Coutinho could stay all his career with us and be a club legend? It’s wishful thinking but not impossible.