Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho fuels Barcelona rumours with latest interview
Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has declared he is ‘happy’ to be linked with a big-money move to Barcelona, as he did little to dampen down his links with the Catalan giants in an interview with ESPN.
Barcelona are reported to be planning a move for the Brazilian midfielder this summer, even though he signed a bumper new contract with Liverpool in January that ties him to the Anfield club until 2022.
Yet Coutinho’s latest comments may not be welcomed by his employers, as he appeared to be open to the prospect of a move to Barcelona if Liverpool gave him permission to leave.
“Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world…so far nothing has come to me because if anything comes, it comes to my manager,” he said.
“I have a contract with Liverpool, there are two games, there are a lot of chances for us to be in the Champions League next year.
“I’m happy to know that a great club has an interest, it’s cool, for the recognition of their work, what I have to do is keep working hard.
“Liverpool is a great club and we have to put Liverpool back in the Champions League.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that his club have no intention of selling Coutinho ahead of what he hopes will be a return to Europe’s elite competition next season.
“When did he sign his new contract,” questioned Klopp last week, as he joked that new deal came with a £400m release clause.
“What our owners say is there is the absolute opportunity not to sell anybody if we do not want to. That means we can bring in others players and it is a good situation.
“We have a stable squad with a good basis. We want to bring a few in with fresh blood but nobody will leave us without our say, so I am completely relaxed about this.”
Liverpool will qualify for next season’s Champions League if they beat Middlesbrough in their final game of the Premier League season on Sunday.