The former ‘Reds’ skipper says that Liverpool are under no pressure to sell the Brazilian but admits that it could be hard to keep the player if he really does have his heart set on a move to the Camp Nou.
Speaking following the the UEFA Super Cup final on Tuesday, the 37-year-old said: ‘It’s very, very difficult (to keep hold of players). Especially South American players who always go on record saying it’s a dream of theirs to play for Barcelona.
‘I’ve experienced it before as a player and a fan with (Javier) Mascherano, with (Luis) Suarez and it’s a very, very difficult situation for a club to be in.
‘The good thing from the Liverpool fans’ point of view is the manager (Jurgen Klopp) is desperate to keep hold of him and is trying to keep hold of him.
‘The board want him to stay, this is not a situation where Liverpool need money or to cash in.
‘We’re not a selling club so they’re gonna do everything in their power for him to stay but at the end of the day it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he’s prepared to do, what type of war he’s prepared to create to get out because Liverpool won’t make it easy for him.’
Coutinho has featured prominently for Jurgen Klopp’s side during pre-season despite the speculation about his future. Though the 25-year-old was forced to sit out Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend with a back injury that makes him a doubt for this weekend’s season opener against Watford.