Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard fears Philippe Coutinho is destined to follow in the footsteps of Luis Suarez and leave Anfield for La Liga at some point in the future.
The Brazil international has developed into one of Liverpool’s key men since joining them from Inter in January 2013 and Gerrard has urged the Reds to treasure the 23-year-old until he opts to move on.
“Philippe is wonderfully gifted and I expect him to become Liverpool’s leading player,” Gerrard writes in his new autobiography that is being serialised in the Daily Mail.
“Many Liverpool fans already regard him as our main man. He has just signed a new deal and he and his wife seem settled here.
“But I also know that the Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, will come looking for Philippe in a few more seasons, just like they did with Luis.
“And that’s when it will get tricky for Liverpool because the lure to go to one of those two clubs is so strong for any South American or Spanish player.
“Until that happens, Liverpool should really treasure Philippe.”
Coutinho has a contract with Liverpool until June 2020.
He has scored once in four Premier League appearances so far this term.