Michael Owen sends message to Liverpool fans about 25-year-old forward
The Liverpool legend doesn't expect Philippe Coutinho to move to La Liga giants Barcelona this summer
Michael Owen has ruled out Philippe Coutinho swapping Liverpool for Barcelona this summer.
The Brazil international has been heavily linked with a move to the La Liga giants as Barcelona look to find a replacement for Neymar.
Coutinho has been regularly linked with a switch to the Catalan side over the past two seasons since Luis Suarez moved to Barcelona in a £75m deal.
The 25-year-old was a key part of the Liverpool team that finished in fourth place in the Premier League table to secure a return to the Champions League.
The former Inter Milan midfielder netted 13 goals and made seven assists in 31 appearances to help Jurgen Klopp’s side edge out Arsenal in the top-four race.
Ex-Liverpool striker Owen doesn’t expect Coutinho to leave Liverpool despite the lure of Barcelona.
“The news going around Spain is obviously fuel to the fire if the Neymar deal goes ahead – the speculation becomes intensive (regarding a) Coutinho move,” Owen is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
“But he was happy enough a short while ago to sign a long-term deal and since then the club have qualified for the Champions League and strengthened the team.
“I think they played a really good move in signing him to a long contract because if the worst came they would get a lot of money for him, but I don’t see it happening.
“Other than Coutinho not being happy I can’t see how there is going to be a deal. It’s inevitable that a lot of good players want to ply their trade in Spain but the situation with the length of contract has to count for something.”
Coutinho moved to Liverpool in a £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.
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.