Philippe Coutinho will stay put at Liverpool, says club icon Ian Rush

Coutinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks on the back of another impressive season at Liverpool

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The Independent Football

Liverpool icon Ian Rush believes Philippe Coutinho will be staying put at Anfield for the foreseeable future, citing the club’s involvement in next season’s Champions League as a key factor.

Coutinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks on the back of another impressive season at Liverpool.

With 14 goals and seven assists to his name across the past campaign, the Reds have no intention of selling the Brazilian, and Rush, who remains the club’s all-time leading scorer with 346 goals, has said he is “pretty confident” Coutinho will remain at Anfield next season.

"He's a quality player and he can play for any team in the world with the way he played this year, but if you're in the Champions League then I expect him to stay,” the Welshman said.

"It's another experience for him. There's a time and place for everything and Coutinho wants to play in the Champions League because he's a champion - but Liverpool will give him the chance to do that.

"I am pretty certain he will stay even though there are rumours about everything. The fans want him to stay."

Coutinho was forced out of the game for two months from November to January with an ankle injury, at which point Liverpool’s title challenge dropped off, but the player returned to form towards the end of the season to help secure Champions League football for the Reds.

Scoring seven goals in the side’s last nine games, the Brazilian’s contributions were crucial in helping Liverpool return to Europe’s elite competition.

Rush added that the Champions League will help in the player’s development. "I think with the experience of Champions League with Liverpool will make him an even better player.”

Coutinho himself has alleviated concerns of a summer transfer, insisting speculation over his future is "for journalists only" while reiterating that he has a "long contract" at the club.

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