In his years with Liverpool, Steven Gerrard saw his own fair share of Reds’ superstars drawn away from Anfield by the allure of Barcelona. Philippe Coutinho, if the Spanish media are to be believed, is the latest Liverpool player who wants a chance to prove himself at the Camp Nou.
Gerrard believes that if Coutinho truly wanted to force a move, he’d have to be ready to put up a fight, because Liverpool don’t appear to have any intention of letting him go.
“It’s very, very difficult,” he said. “Especially South American players who always go on record saying it’s a dream of theirs to play for Barcelona. I’ve experienced it before as a player and a fan with (Javier) Mascherano, with (Luis) Suarez and it’s a very, very difficult situation for a club to be in.
“The good thing from the Liverpool fans’ point of view is the manager is desperate to keep hold of him and is trying to keep hold of him. The board want him to stay, this is not a situation where Liverpool need money or to cash in.
“We’re not a selling club so they’re gonna do everything in their power for him to stay but at the end of the day it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he’s prepared to do, what type of war he’s prepared to create to get out because Liverpool won’t make it easy for him.”
Debunked stories about Coutinho’s refusal to train aside, the player seems content with the club’s decision not to sell him in this window. That’s unlikely to dissuade the media and gossip-mongerers in the weeks to come, however, so expect to continue seeing more of the same in the days and weeks to come.