In Focus: Neymar could bizarrely help Liverpool keep Coutinho

Neymar has told Brazil teammate Philippe Coutinho that he will not regret Liverpool’s decision to keep Barcelona at bay, according to Estadao.

What’s the word?

The Catalan giants have been chasing Coutinho all summer, and it has been widely reported that the playmaker is keen to move to the Camp Nou.

Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that Coutinho had handed in a transfer request, but so far, Liverpool have stood firm in their stance that he is not for sale.

Barcelona have failed to persuade the Reds to discuss a deal after having three bids rejected, the most recent of which the Daily Mail reports was worth £114m.

The former Inter Milan star, who is currently on international duty with Brazil, has reportedly been warned off a move to Barcelona by none other than the club’s former player Neymar.

According to Brazilian newspaper Estadao, the 25-year-old has told Coutinho that “he won’t regret Liverpool’s decision to keep him away from Barcelona”.

Neymar’s relationship with Barca, where he played for four years, has turned sour since he completed a world-record £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer.

Could this make a difference?

It is known to be a usual tactic of Barcelona to have their key players speak publicly about transfer targets in a bid to help their cause in trying to sign them.

On this occasion, Neymar – albeit no longer a Barcelona player – has done the opposite.

If Coutinho regards his fellow countryman as a good friend, then the 25-year-old’s words could make a difference in whether or not he continues pushing for a move to Spain.

With the window closing in just two days’ time, it seems more and more likely that the playmaker will be forced to stay at Liverpool.

Neymar’s reassurance, though, could help Coutinho adapt his outlook and accept the fact that he may have to remain at Anfield for at least another season.