Liverpool hero confident £72m star will continue his career at Anfield

According to the former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, he is confident the club will be able to hold off Barcelona’s attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho this summer.

The Catalan side have already seen a £72m bid for the Brazilian attacking midfielder turned down by the Reds this summer, but their efforts to sign him are expected to increase as Neymar completed world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

However, the 25-year-old Coutinho only signed a new five-year contract deal back in January, and Michael Owen believes that Liverpool are in a strong position to keep hold of the Brazilian star.

During his interview, Owen told Press Association Sport: “The news going around Spain is obviously fuel to the fire if the Neymar deal goes ahead – the speculation becomes intensive (regarding a) Coutinho move.

“But he was happy enough a short while ago to sign a long-term deal and since then the club have qualified for the Champions League and strengthened the team. I think they played a really good move in signing him to a long contract because if the worst came they would get a lot of money for him, but I don’t see it happening.

“Other than Coutinho not being happy I can’t see how there is going to be a deal. It’s inevitable that a lot of good players want to ply their trade in Spain but the situation with the length of contract has to count for something.” Added the Englishman.