Barcelona’s interest in Philippe Coutinho is about to intensify even further on this evidence.
A trip away to Hertha Berlin for a pre-season friendly gave Coutinho the platform to display why one of the sport’s giants are feverishly chasing his services.
The Brazilian’s starring role has attracted attention from a host of clubs, but Barcelona are the ones legitimately in the hunt, lodging a reported £72m bid earlier this week. That such money would apparently be turned down by Liverpool shows the importance that boss Jurgen Klopp places upon the midfielder.
If the club were hoping that the 25-year-old would have a quiet summer in order to stave off unwanted attention, those hopes were shot down with Coutinho’s spectacular winner in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy final just last week.
Today, in a 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin, the playmaker showcased his remarkable talent once again.
Winning the ball in the opposition half, Coutinho left the nearest Berlin player for dead, before a quick run saw him fire a pass to new signing Mohamed Salah that would bring a tear to the eye of Paul Scholes.
Salah, a recent arrival from Roma, dispatched a stunning lob past the hapless keeper to set the tongues of the Anfield faithful wagging.
Signings such as that of Salah and Dominic Solanke are important to Liverpool’s chances of competing for silverware this coming season, but retaining the services of Coutinho must be their number one priority heading in to the new season.