After Philippe Coutinho produced a sparkling display against West Ham United from a central midfield position, many Liverpool fans wondered whether the club could keep hold of the Brazilian international for the foreseeable future. The number ten signed a new deal in January (without, it must be pointed out, a release clause) to become Liverpool’s highest paid player and has been a consummate professional since arriving in January 2013.
Links to Barcelona, however, persist despite Jürgen Klopp reiterating that Coutinho is not for sale. Before Liverpool took a big step to finishing in the top four, Coutinho was interviewed by ESPN Brasil on a potential move to Barcelona. As usual, Liverpool’s talisman did not disappoint.
Coutinho said the following on his future: "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, what I have to do is focus on the pitch.
"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. What I have to do is focus on football and those things are resolved by the business people.
"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."
Ahead of World Cup 2018 with Champions League football likely to be on offer under Klopp, there is no reason to expect that Coutinho will be anything but a Liverpool player next season.