Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho has said he has heard nothing from Barcelona about a potential transfer despite recent rumours linking him with the Camp Nou giants.
The Brazilian playmaker told ESPN Brasil it was flattering to be linked to such a prestigious club but said his focus is on making sure Liverpool qualify for the UEFA Champions League (via Paul Gorst in the Liverpool Echo):
“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.
Joaquim Piera of Sport recently reported Barca’s keen interest in Coutinho, 24, and said Liverpool would be willing to sell him for €90 million (£76.2 million).
Coutinho signed a new five-year contract with the Anfield outfit in January, so Liverpool are in a strong negotiating position should Barca make an approach.
The Reds’ likely ideal scenario would be to keep hold of him, as Coutinho is arguably their most important player.
He proved just how vital he can be to Jurgen Klopp’s side by netting twice and providing an assist in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.
The result moved Liverpool another step closer to a return to the Champions League next term. Meanwhile, Coutinho took his Premier League tally for the season to 12 goals and seven assists, the best combined contribution of any Liverpool player, per WhoScored.com.
Given Coutinho cost Liverpool only £8.5 million when he arrived from Inter Milan in 2013, he has more than lived up to his price tag. And it would seemingly take a huge offer to tempt them into selling him.
For now, though, his focus is clearly on the end to Liverpool’s season and a likely Champions League spot next term, which can only be a bonus for the Reds.