Reports: Liverpool to offer Philippe Coutinho a new contract to fend off Barcelona's interest
The Brazilian has become a very important player for the Reds
Liverpool are ready to offer Philippe Coutinho a new contract to stop Barcelona from signing the Brazilian next summer. Coutinho has started the 2016/17 season in a brilliant way after scoring 3 goals and 2 assists in first 7 league matches.
Coutinho’s form coupled with Sadio Mane’s goals, Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League table and look one of the probable contenders for the title this season.
However, despite being one of the fan favorites ever since arriving at Anfield, Coutinho has always been linked with a move to Barcelona. One of the reasons for the rumours is Coutinho’s close friendship with Barcelona superstar Neymar.
The Brazilian skipper has often advocated Coutinho’s exceptional skills on the ball which makes him an ideal fit for the Catalan giants. Not only Neymar, players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and even Thiago Silva have endorsed Coutinho’s move to Camp Nou.
Will Coutinho sign the new deal?
According to Sunday People, the Reds have prepared a 4-year deal for Coutinho which will see him stay at Anfield until 2022. Manager Jurgen Klopp recently extended his stay with the club as well and wants Coutinho and Adam Lallana to be part of his long-term plans.
Klopp has insisted on both Coutinho and Lallana to stay at the club for a long time and wants to build his team around the two crafty playmakers. The Brazilian has been given a new role under Klopp to operate in a 3-man forward line and attack from the wings.
With Daniel Sturridge sitting out most of the matches, the onus has fallen on Coutinho and Firmino to share the goal-scoring load to which the Brazilian duo have responded in the best way possible.
What next for Barcelona?
The Catalan side are currently eyeing moves for two Premier League stars in Philippe Coutinho and Hector Bellerin but neither of the two are certain to join them next season. While Coutinho looks certain to stay with Liverpool, Bellerin on the other hand, could join Manchester City as he is influenced by Pep Guardiola’s management style.
Luis Enrique is eager to find a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta who is now 32-years-old and will not be at the same level in coming seasons.
Another Liverpool player who can be given a new deal in the summer is Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who has developed into a dependable player in recent weeks. Lovren has formed a stable partnership with Joel Matip and Klopp is considering the idea of extending his stay at Anfield.