Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho has rebuffed rumours linking him to Barcelona, insisting that he wants become a Reds legend one day
Philippe Coutinho has insisted that he is not thinking ‘for a moment’ about a move away from Liverpool, as he iterated his desire to remain at Anfield for years, win titles and be talked of in the same breath as some of the biggest legends in the history of the Merseyside club.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Mail, Coutinho said that he didn’t hesitate before renewing his deal with Liverpool, as he intends to become a legend for the Reds. He said: “Wait to sign? No. No. Now is the right time.
“I understand what Liverpool means. We can say Dalglish, Rush, Hansen, Souness, Suarez, Gerrard. I’ve been here quite a few years already, it’s not like I am new. I understand. To have signed a new contract at this club, my goal is to be thought of one day in the same way as these players.”
Coutinho committed his long-term future to Liverpool earlier this week as he put pen to paper on a new contract with the Reds. In a deal that comes into effect from July 1, 2017, Coutinho has reportedly become Liverpool’s highest paid player.
All that underlines his importance at Anfield, with Coutinho currently rated as one of the best players in the Premier League. Indeed, the Brazil international has come a long way ever since he joining Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013.
While that looks to have put his exit speculations to bed for now, rumours continue to crop up, with Barcelona in particular the club that has been heavily linked with the Brazilian. However, Coutinho maintains that he will remain at Anfield despite all the speculation, even rebuffing a possible move to China.
He continued: “I want to win titles. Five years is my new contract . . . it gives me that opportunity. I believe in finding somewhere you can express yourself, play without fear, play with everything you have. When you find that place, stay.
“China, no. I am not interested. I don’t think about that, not for one moment. My football is here. My heart is here. I don’t think about any other club. Not at all.”
He looks to have put his troubled career at San Siro behind him, as Coutinho has blossomed into a fine player at Anfield in the four years since, scoring 34 goals in 163 appearances. And having initially frustrated for being all pace and trickery, Coutinho looks to have added goals and assists to his repertoire as well in the last year.
The 24-year-old has bagged six goals and seven assists in all competitions for Liverpool this season, scoring once in just over 200 minutes. Having returned from a two-month injury layoff earlier this month, Coutinho’s form will now be crucial to Liverpool’s fortunes for the rest of the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp has previously admitted that he doesn’t want to lose his star player any time soon, having issued a hands-off warning to interested clubs and Coutinho’s interview with Daily Mail suggests that the Brazilian himself isn’t interested in making a move away from Liverpool either.