'It would be awful if Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona' - Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino concedes that Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool for Barcelona would be "awful".
Barcelona have made the Brazilian their top target to replace Neymar and have seen two bids already rebuffed for the 25-year-old who has submitted a transfer request to leave Anfield.
But Firmino is eager for his teammate of both club and country to stay put and help both achieve success in a World Cup year.
"I prefer to not think of this (Coutinho leaving) because it would be awful. He's a great player but also a great friend to me," he told the Liverpool Echo. "It is normal that great teams are interested in his football but my concentration is now on the team.
"My objective is to win cups with Liverpool so I can enter the history of this club. This season is a special season because it is World Cup season. From childhood, I had the dream to play the World Cup.
"To be selected to the World Cup, I need to have my best season with Liverpool. Tite is a coach who rewards hard work at clubs."
Firmino will be the main attraction on Tuesday evening when Liverpool travel to his former club Hoffenheim for the first leg of the Champions League qualifying play-off.
And the attacking midfielder is relishing the trip back to Germany again but knows his current side will have their work cut out against his former one.
"My feeling on facing my ex club? It makes me happy to meet old friends again. I always felt respected there, I have good memories," he added. "I know Hoffenheim very well. They're an organised, hard side to face. But if we want to go far we must win big games from now.
"Klopp is a manager who's got the group under the palm of his hands. We hope to achieve big things this season, we prepared well."
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service