Philippe Coutinho has welcomed interest from Barcelona but confirmed that if any contact has been made it will be with his manager and not with him directly.
The Brazilian admitted that he is happy to know of their interest, but made it clear that his focus is completely on helping Liverpool return to the Champions League by finishing in the top four of the Premier League. The Reds are currently in third place and can confirm a place in the top four with a win in their final game against Middlesbrough on Sunday (21 May).
“Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, so far, nothing has come to me, because if anything comes, it comes to my manager, what I have to do is focus on the pitch,” Coutinho told ESPN Brasil, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I have a contract with Liverpool, there are two games, there are a lot of chances for us to be in the Champions League next year. What I have to do is focus on football and those things are resolved by the business people.
“I’m happy to know that a great club has an interest, it’s cool, for the recognition of their work, what I have to do is keep working hard. Liverpool is a great club and we have to put Liverpool back in the Champions League,” the Brazilian midfielder added.
Coutinho has been instrumental in helping Liverpool fight for a place in the top for this season. The 24-year-old is having his best season in terms of goals scored since his move from Inter Milan in 2013 and this has attracted the interest of the La Liga giants, who have identified him as a potential long-term replacement for Andrés Iniesta.
Spanish publication Sport recently revealed that Coutinho had agreed a move to the Camp Nou, but Liverpool were demanding a fee of around €90m (£75.9m, $98.1m) to agree to allow him to leave. However, Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that Liverpool will not be selling their key players as they are more focused on making additions to accommodate the added load of European football next season.