Brazil boss Tite has delivered his verdict on Philippe Coutinho – but it could force Jurgen Klopp into a re-think for their clash with Manchester United on Monday week.
The Brazil boss was thought to be assessing whether to select Chelsea’s Willian or the Reds star in his side for their back-to-back World Cup qualifiers – but has declared “now is Philippe Coutinho’s moment” for the Brazilian national team.
The bad news for Liverpool, however, is that the player is now in line to play back to back World Cup qualifiers in South America against Bolivia and Venezuela – just four days before the huge visit of Manchester United to Anfield.
Tite said: “There’s a reason he is called the Magician.
“With his passes, Coutinho opens the lines, creates space. I like his mobility, he was influential in both games when he came on (against Colombia and Ecuador last month when his introduction changed both matches).
“It was a difficult decision for me, but right now this is Coutinho’s moment. And in football, you have to follow the moment.
“The two appearances by Coutinho… his moment, the composition. It is with mastery, not only because the opponent was tired.”
Brazil face Bolivia at 1.45am on Friday morning then travel to Venezuela for a 1.30am kick-off next Wednesday.
It will mean Coutinho isn’t likely to arrive back to Merseyside until some time on Saturday, putting his place in the Liverpool side in jeopardy for the Monday Night Football clash with Manchester United.