Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho says Barcelona transfer speculation is ‘complicated’


Mark Critchley

Philippe Coutinho has described speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona as “complicated”.

The Liverpool playmaker, who is currently on international duty with Brazil, signed a new five-year contract without a buyout clause in January.

Reports suggesting he could leave Anfield have persisted, however, and when questioned about his future by reporters on Monday, Coutinho neglected to rule out a move to the Nou Camp.

“Talking about this is complicated,” he said ahead of Brazil’s friendly against Australia on Tuesday. “I have a contract with my club and it is long.

“So my focus is on the present and the national team. My focus is here,” he added.

Coutinho, who turned 25-years-old on Monday, became one of Liverpool’s highest-paid players upon signing his new contract five months ago.

The absence of a buyout clause from the deal left Liverpool in a stronger position than they were when they tied Luis Suarez down to a five-year contract in 2013.

Suarez left the club for Barcelona the following summer after the Catalans met the figure required to release him.

Coutinho is expected to captain Brazil for the first time at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The former Internazionale player started Friday’s friendly with Argentina, but was powerless to prevent La Selecao from falling to a 1-0 defeat.



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