Steven Gerrard believes it won’t be long before “the wonderfully gifted” Philippe Coutinho signs for Real Madrid or Barcelona – and Liverpool should enjoy him ‘while they can’.
Coutinho has emerged as Brendan Rodgers’ most potent creative force since moving to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Inter Milan in January 2013 and was shortlisted for Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year last season before losing out to Eden Hazard and Harry Kane, respectively.
Coutinho has also made a name for himself as a scorer of spectacular goals and it is this star quality that Gerrard believes will alert the Spanish giants to the 23-year-old Brazilian.
Writting in his new autobiography, My Story, former Reds skipper Gerrard fears Coutinho could become the target of a Suarez-like transfer move.
“Philippe is wonderfully gifted and I expect him to become Liverpool’s leading player,” he wrote.
“Many Liverpool fans already regard him as our main man.
“He has just signed a new deal and he and his wife – who are a lovely couple – seem settled here.
“But I also know that the Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, will come looking for Philippe in a few more seasons, just like they did with Luis.
“And that’s when it will get tricky for Liverpool because the lure to go to one of those two clubs is so strong for any South American or Spanish player.
“Until that happens, Liverpool should really treasure Philippe.”