Phil Thompson sends message to Liverpool supporters about 25-year-old attacker
The Liverpool legend is confident the Reds can keep Philippe Coutinho despite interest from Barcelona
Phil Thompson is backing Liverpool to keep Philippe Coutinho despite interest from Barcelona.
The Brazil international has been heavily linked with a move to the La Liga giants in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona have already made £70m and £80m bids to sign the 25-year-old attacker as the Spanish side look to bring in Coutinho to help replace Neymar.
The attacking midfielder scored 13 times and made seven assists in 31 appearances in the Premier League last season to help Liverpool finish in the top four.
Coutinho missed Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Hoffenheim in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Tuesday night.
The Merseyside outfit will welcome Crystal Palace to Anfield on Saturday afternoon following last weekend’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Watford.
Former Liverpool captain Thompson is confident that the Reds will find a way to keep Coutinho despite Barcelona’s interest.
“I think the owners will hold firm,” Thompson told Sky Sports.
“They’ve backed themselves into a corner with the statements they’ve made along with Jurgen Klopp’s comments, so I just don’t see how they can go back on that, especially when the fans are already quite unhappy with the summer transfer business as deals for Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita are looking increasingly unlikely.
“The comments coming out from Barca saying that a deal is close might be a red flag to a bull, making the owners, who are adamant because of the deal they gave him six months ago, even more focused on standing their ground, so I think they will keep him.”
Coutinho moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.
The Reds have brought in AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke and Hull City defender Andy Robertson this summer so far.
Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League table last term.