Phillippe Coutinho’s former youth coach at Vasco de Gama says the Brazilian is more than happy to continue his development at Liverpool.
The 24-year-old midfielder has been in sparkling form for Jurgen Klopp’s men so far this season and he has scored five goals and provided five assists in 11 Premier League games.
He this week transferred his club form to the international stage, scoring a fine goal in the win against Argentina.
His understanding with compatriot Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane has created a fearsome attacking trio for Klopp and it was only a matter of time before some of Europe’s big guns stood up and took note.
And on Friday Spanish outlet Sport revealed Barcelona had made Coutinho their number one target for next summer. While on Saturday the same outlet suggested that Coutinho was aware of the Catalan club’s interest, and was keen on a move to the Camp Nou.
That however is not the message from his former coach and close friend Rodney Goncalves, who in an interview in the Sunday Telegraph said he was sure Coutinho had far more he wants to achieve at Anfield.
“Whenever we speak he always says that is very happy at Liverpool and his biggest challenge is to win the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool,” said Goncalves.
“He knows that if he continues to give great performances for Liverpool, he will always be selected for Brazil.
“His ambition is to be in the list of the top 10 players [in the world],” says Rodney Goncalves, Coutinho’s former youth coach at Vasco da Gama.
“The Brazil squad needed to renew itself after the World Cup and everybody expected that he would be selected. Now he is, and this moment is very special. With Neymar and Coutinho playing together again, they are seen as the couple that can give us a lot of titles.
“They played together in the Brazilian youth teams and were the players who stood out when they played against each other in the youth sides for Vasco da Gama versus Santos.
“Coutinho can be compared to Neymar, but Coutinho is Coutinho. He can become a very popular in Brazil and around the world like Neymar, he just needs to get a sequence of games in the Brazilian squad.
“There is pressure on him but it is not a problem. He plays at a big club and plays in the most important league in the world.”
Coutinho, who signed from Inter Milan in January 2013 for £8.5million, is contracted to Liverpool until June 2020.