Liverpool have reportedly opened talks with Philippe Coutinho about extending his contract. The Brazilian has three years left to run on his current deal. Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, recognise his value to the club, and are keen to tie him up on a long term improved deal.
Coutinho is believed to be on a salary of around £75,000-per-week, which is below the wage scale of some of the other top players at the club. Given his performances over the last two seasons, and his growing importance to the team, he deserves to be in the same wage bracket as other key players like Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner.
The 24-year-old was sidelined during November’s 2-0 win at home to Sunderland and missed nine games in all competitions. His creativity was sorely missed as the Reds slipped away in the Premier League title race. His creativity, guile, energy and fluency makes him Liverpool’s best and most important player under Jürgen Klopp, and it is imperative that he be tied down for the long term.
It is interesting to note that Coutinho’s contract talks have come at a stage when Liverpool are going through a rough phase for the first time this season. It could be a constructive ploy to make a positive PR, especially after Liverpool’s disappointing 3-2 defeat against Swansea at Anfield last weekend.
Also, the club is aware of interest in Coutinho from heavyweight European giants like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Liverpool, however, are adamant that they won’t sell their key player. Klopp said recently that no amount of money will force him to sell his prized asset in January or in the summer. The German made a bold claim, by saying “he is our player and that is it’, while commenting on Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho.