Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has admitted that he does not expect Philippe Coutinho to return to Anfield, saying that the Brazilian’s time with the Reds has “passed”.
Coutinho moved to Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013 and enjoyed a successful five-year spell on Merseyside, before becoming a divisive figure following his departure for Barcelona.
The midfielder struggled to find his best form in Spain and was sent on loan to Bayern Munich last summer, but the German champions look unlikely to make the deal permanent leaving the player at a crossroads.
As such, Liverpool have been loosely linked with re-signing Coutinho but speaking to Spanish publication Sport, Henderson admitted that such a move looks far off.
“Phil is a good friend of mine. I think he is an exceptional footballer, he has everything, he has a great attitude and he loves football,” Henderson said.
“So, of course, for me he would always be welcome, but it is not up to me.
“It is probably best to ask the manager that. The boys loved him, so if you ask any of them, I’m sure they’ll say they would love to have him back.
“But I think his time here has passed, he has moved and I hope that in the near future we will see the same Phil we saw here.”
Liverpool used the £142million they scooped for Coutinho to fund moves for Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, who have taken Jurgen Klopp’s side to another level.
The Reds have become European and world champions since the pair’s arrival and are closing in on the club’s first league title in 30 years.
Klopp‘s men need five victories from their remaining 12 games to win the league, with nearest challengers Manchester City 25 points behind with a game in hand.
In other news, Alisson has spoken about his success since arriving at Anfield and how his style of goalkeeping is perfectly suited to Liverpool’s style of play.
The Brazilian said: “It is no use for the goalkeeper to be good playing with his feet if the team doesn’t have the characteristics for that. It won’t work.
“What makes it work isn’t only the quality that I have, but the quality of my team-mates, the disposition of my team-mates always give me the option to play. When I need to kick, I kick, no problem.”