Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has insisted that he remains concerned that the club will still lose Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The Brazilian international penned a new contract with the Reds on Wednesday, with The Daily Mail reporting that it was worth over £200,000-a-week, and keeps him at Anfield until 2022.
While the contract has no release clause, it would have reassured many Liverpool supporters that ultimately Coutinho is there to stay, but Carragher isn’t convinced that it will stop the 24-year-old from considering a move to Spain if the two La Liga giants come knocking again.
The former Inter playmaker has scored six goals and provided seven assists in 19 games so far this season, and after a long injury layoff he will hope to inspire Liverpool and keep them in the Premier League title race between now and May.
Beyond that though, Carragher fears that his former club could still lose one of their most prized assets if Barca or Real are keen on signing him.
“We’ve had plenty of players in the past Liverpool who have signed big contracts then moved on,” he said on Sky Sports, as noted in the report above.
“Liverpool are no different to every other club in world football besides two. If Barcelona or Real Madrid come for one of your players and pay what you want, they’re going, because 99 per cent of players want to play for those two clubs.
“If that happens, it means, if they’re unbelievable for Liverpool, then you have to thank him, as we did with Luis Suarez.”
Ultimately, Barca and Real operate at a level above their European rivals. Their history, style of football, current stars and financial strength all make them the go-to clubs for the top stars if they wish to further their careers and stamp their legacy down on the game.
In turn, Carragher makes a very legitimate point, but it will be hoped from a Liverpool perspective that by competing for the big trophies year in and year out will convince Coutinho to stay and build something at Anfield for the long-term.