Liverpool Legend Steven Gerrard Calls Barca Move a Dream But Wants Coutinho at Anfield
With Philippe Coutinho one of Barcelona's transfer targets identified to replace Neymar at the Camp Nou, former Reds captain Steven Gerrard has spoken about his former teammate's future at Liverpool.
Coutinho has enjoyed four impressive years at Liverpool, arriving from Inter Milan in a deal that has since risen to £11m. With a direct involvement in 79 goals during his 181 games for Liverpool, Coutinho has established himself as one of the most important players in Merseyside.
It is understood that Barcelona will prepare a £100m bid in order to tempt Liverpool to sell their Brazilian talisman, however, Liverpool hero Gerrard has insisted that his former club does not need to sell, according to the Mirror.
"It's a dream for these South American players," Gerrard explained. "I've experienced it before - both as a fan and player - with Mascherano and Suarez.
"It is a very difficult situation for the club to be in.
"The good thing from Liverpool's point of view is that the manager is desperate to keep hold of him and the owners want him to stay," he continued. "This is not a situation where Liverpool need money or need to cash in.
"We are not a selling club so they will do everything in their powers for him to stay."
Gerrard ended by discussing that although the club does have the power over Coutinho's future, the 25-year-old needs to make his decision.
"But it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he is prepared to do, what type of war he is going to create to get out because Liverpool won't make it easy for him," the former Liverpool captain claimed. "I pray he is at Liverpool [at the end of the window]."
Barcelona are expected to complete at least one major signing this summer, in order to fill the gap left by Neymar.
Along with Liverpool's Coutinho, Juventus star Paulo Dybala has been linked with a move to join his compatriot Lionel Messi in Catalonia, while Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembélé is also on Barcelona's radar.