Coutinho's Barcelona dream can wait – Garcia

By Russell Greaves 24 March 2017
Coutinho's Barcelona dream can wait – Garcia

Philippe Coutinho would be the perfect replacement for Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, but should focus on realising his potential at Liverpool for at least another two years.

That is the view of former Reds and Barca midfielder Luis Garcia, who sees Coutinho as a natural successor to Iniesta when the Spain stalwart calls time on his illustrious career.

At 32, that may be a few years off, and Garcia believes Coutinho should wait until that day comes before thinking about leaving Anfield.

"It is not the first time he has been linked to Barcelona and it would be a tough call for him, but hopefully he decides to stay at Liverpool," Garcia, who moved to Merseyside from Barca in 2004, told TalkSPORT.

"Coutinho is a very important player for Liverpool and, as a former player from both teams and the love I have for both of them, I would like to see Coutinho for a few more years in a red shirt. 

"Coutinho is still a very young player. Iniesta is maybe going to be in the first team for two or three more years and with the quality and technique that Coutinho has got it would be a brilliant time for the team [for him to join]."

Brazil star Coutinho signed a contract until 2022 in January, but links with a switch to Camp Nou have persisted.

This week Neymar singled out the 24-year-old, a team-mate of his on the international stage, as one Premier League player who would "totally fit" at Barca.

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