Ahead of a prestige friendly with Australian side Sydney FC, Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho once again shrugged off reported interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona to double down on his commitment to the Anfield outfit.
“Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour,” said the 24-year old, speaking frankly with ESPN Brasil following the win over Middlesbrough in the final game of the season. “Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player,” continued the Liverpool attacker, reminding the world that there’s something special on Merseyside. “Here you can be something more.”
Seeded in Champions League qualifying, the Reds will look to find a route in to the Group Stages of the competition when they return to action this summer — potentially their first involvement since the 2014/2016 season. With a trough full of money and the recruitment power that comes along with playing in Europe’s biggest club competition, the Anfield outfit are expected to strengthen their squad en masse over the coming months, but more importantly, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be looking to keep his best players at the club and has already made moves to make sure that goal is achieved.
“I have a long contract with Liverpool…speculation is for journalists only,” added Coutinho, who signed a lucrative, long term deal back in January. “We started the season very well, I started well. But then in the middle the performance regressed,” explained the Brazilian. “Then we bounced back, I finished the season at a high level,” said the 24-year with his free-kick against Boro another one for the highlight reel. “The whole team is playing well, today was a very important victory, next season it’s the Champions League.”