Steve Nicol sends stern warning to Liverpool owners about possible transfer

The Liverpool legend warns the club's owners not to sell Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho Photo: The Sport Review

Steve Nicol has warned the Liverpool owners that selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona would send out a bad message to Reds supporters.

The Brazil international is being targeted by the La Liga giants as a potential replacement for Neymar if the forward moves to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Barcelona are thought to be ready to spend big on the Liverpool attacking midfielder, although reports suggest the Reds value the 25-year-old at around £133m.

Coutinho played a key role in helping Liverpool get over the line in the top-four race last season after a return of 13 goals and seven assists in 31 appearances in the 2016-17 campaign.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is busy preparing for the club’s return to the Champions League and losing Coutinho would presumably be a significant blow to his plans for the new season.

Former Reds defender Nicol has warned the Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, that selling Coutinho would show their main priority is making money out of the 18-time English champions.

“If Liverpool sell Coutinho to Barcleona, it shows the owners are just about business,” Nicol told ESPN FC on Friday afternoon. “I don’t think they will. ”

Fact file: Philippe Coutinho

– Liverpool signed Philippe Coutinho in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.

– The South American is still waiting to win his first trophy with Liverpool but finished as a Premier League runner-up in 2014.

– Coutinho was voted Liverpool’s player of the year in 2015 and 2016 thanks to his influential performances.

– The Liverpool No10 has scored 42 times in 184 appearances in all competitions during his four-and-a-half year stint at Anfield.

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