Jurgen Klopp has vowed to try to end the ‘brain drain’ from Liverpool.
Barcelona have their eyes on Philippe Coutinho, after taking Luis Suarez from the Reds two years ago.
The Spanish giants also prised Javier Mascherano away, and he was followed out of the door by players who were not just heroes, but regarded as the biggest names at Anfield, like Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Raheem Sterling.
“My feeling is he feels really well here, he is happy here and, yeah, we all hope and think his future is here,” said the German coach.
Klopp insisted that he sees the Brazilian’s future at Liverpool, but admitted:
“Sure, if there is a club that can pay double what we pay then who am I to say, ‘No, please don’t think about the family and the kids and the grandkids and their kids.
“But I don’t know a lot of clubs in the world who are able to do this. The club is not a problem, our owners are not a problem.”
Coutinho starred for Brazil during the international break, in a pulsating victory over their bitterest rivals Argentina, and that has sparked an outpouring of joy in his home nation.
The £70m-rated midfielder was always regarded – along with Neymar – as the greatest of his generation, and now he is beginning to fulfil that expectation, it has sparked an anticipation he could be poached from Anfield.
But Klopp calmed fears by insisting Liverpool can meet the demands of a player who is still quiet and unassuming, and clearly happy with his young family on Merseyside.
“It is creating the perspective that no one wants to leave. That is all it is about,” the pragmatic German said. “First of all, before we talk about money, we have to create an atmosphere in and around the club where no one wants to leave.
“At this moment, I am not worried about anything. The player likes to be here and it is our job to make sure it stays like this.”
Klopp was asked openly by an excited Brazilian journalist whether he agrees with the feeling in Rio that Coutinho is on the verge of superstardom, and he responded with words of caution.
“He is now at an age where the skills, in a mixture with his experience, gives you more consistency,” he said.
“But everyone forgets, when you think about Phil, that he is still very young. He is 24, so he still has a long way to go and a lot of space for improvement and development.
“With the team-mates he has around him, it is getting better and better. I am sure he has only started and that is all good.”
Klopp also took a playful sideswipe over the continuing exile of Roberto Firmino from the Brazilian national team.
He added: “I would say that Brazil, as long as you can do without Firmino, must have a wonderful team. Big favourites for the world championship! Big pressure, eh?”