Brazilian idol Lucio has called on Philippe Coutinho to avoid a potential move to Barcelona and stay at Liverpool, where he could become “the best player in the world”.
The Reds’ playmaker has emerged as the key man at Anfield over the course of the past two years, with the exits of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling, allied to Daniel Sturridge’s injury woes, having increased his importance on Merseyside.
Naturally, with Coutinho’s performances having improved steadily, interest has grown, with Barcelona having been linked with numerous moves for his signature over the course of the past few months.
However, speaking to Sky Sports, Lucio has called upon his compatriot to resist the lure of the La Liga champions to stay at Liverpool, where he has the platform to become one of the best players around:
“I am very happy that he is having success at Liverpool,
“There is potential to be the best player in the world, of that there is no doubt. But it will depend on what happens around him. He is only going to get better.
“I think that is a personal decision for him [Barca move], but Barcelona have a lot of great players, but that can put a shade on his play.
“Liverpool is the right place for him to become the best. He has his space, and can play where he wants.”
Liverpool have lost a host of big name players to Spanish football’s big two – Barca and Real Madrid – in recent memory, including Suarez, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano.