Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool’s silky-skilled, pug-loving, cut-inside-and-get-the-ball-on-his-right-foot distance-shooting rising star, known around town as the Little Magician, has been the subject of Spanish transfer rumours...basically since he first arrived back in 2012. Whether it’s to Camp Nou or the Bernabéu, every summer following a season that saw Liverpool under-perform has brought anxiety to Reds’ fans.
In January, the club set about trying to diffuse these fears early by having the Brazilian sign a five year contract that would keep him at the club until 2022. With that secure, and without a release clause, Liverpool have slapped an £80m price tag on the player. Klopp has also made it clear that the club has no intention of getting rid of him for any price.
That hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from churning out stories about Coutinho heading to Barcelona to join his friend Luis Suarez at Camp Nou.
But Liverpool legend Ian Rush believes that there’s another reason that our finely-coiffed magical unicorn will remain on Merseyside: Champions League football. Making it into the top four this season should help the club recruit new blood, but also help them keep big stars like Coutinho from looking elsewhere.
Said Rush, “He’s a cultured player and he can play for any team in the world with the way he played this year, but if you're in the Champions League then I expect him to stay.
"It's another experience for him. There's a time and place for everything and Coutinho wants to play in the Champions League because he's a champion - but Liverpool will give him the chance to do that.
"I am pretty certain he will stay even though there are rumours about everything. The fans want him to stay. That experience of the Champions League with Liverpool will make him an even better player."
From your lips to God’s ears, Rushie.