Philippe Coutinho has admitted that he does not know if Barcelona will make another offer for him when the transfer window reopens in January.
The Liverpool attacking midfielder was taken out of Jürgen Klopp’s first-team plans at the start of the season after Barcelona launched an intense pursuit of him in the summer, but remained at Anfield after the Premier League club stood firm in their desire not to sell one of their prize assets.
Certainly, performances like the one in Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow on Wednesday night – in which he scored a hat-trick while captaining the side – will only grow Barca’s desire to land him at the earliest opportunity.
The Spanish giants look unperturbed in their desire to sign the Brazil international, and with reports in Spain claiming an offer of nearly £130m is ready to be lodged next month, Coutinho knows his future remains an uncertain one.
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“I do not know how the future is going to be,” Coutinho said after the Anfield rout. “What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer. I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters.
“Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed, I have played with will and desire.”
The landslide victory over Spartak secured Liverpool’s place in the Champions League last-16, becoming the fifth English side to make it out of the group stage – which is a first for any nation in European competition.
In the absence of regular captain Jordan Henderson, Klopp entrusted Coutinho to lead the side and was rewarded with one of his – and the team’s – best performances of the season.
“It was a special night due to the result and because I had the armband in such important playing for a club like Liverpool,” Coutinho added.
The issue for Klopp is how to fit all of his attacking threats into the same side, as while Coutinho joined forces with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to blow Spartak off the park, it has been a combination that has left Liverpool exposed defensively when playing away from home