Philippe Coutinho says he doesn’t know what the future holds, but insists he’ll always give his best while he remains at Liverpool.
The Brazilian playmaker skippered the Reds to a memorable victory over Spartak Moscow on Wednesday, scoring the opening two goals himself in a 7-0 rout.
Playing from the left of a midfield four, Coutinho was hugely influential in the opening stages, netting a penalty and a side-footed effort as he and the rest of the attack ran riot.
The result sent Liverpool through to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2009, with the knock-outs set to commence in February 2018.
Despite playing such a pivotal role in the match and steering the Reds toward the latter stages of the competition, Coutinho stopped short of confirming he’d be at Anfield for the rest of the season, with Barcelona interest expected once more in the January transfer window.
“I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer,” he said after the game, as translated by @caiocarrieri.
“I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters.
“Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed, I have played with will and desire.
“It was a special night due to the result and because I had the armband in such important playing for a club like Liverpool.”
While Coutinho gave up the armband for the second half after the introduction of James Milner, he was still perhaps the Reds’ top performer in the second half, helping create chance after chance.
The attack functioned almost flawlessly, with Coutinho central to much of the best work of the team, and he was quick to praise his team-mates for their combined input.
“It was a good game, the team played very well and I think we deserved the result so we are in the next round,” Coutinho said on Norwegian TV, per the Echo.
“I scored a hat-trick for Brazil but this was my first one in the Champions League. For sure it’s the most important.
“It was a really good night. When we play at Anfield the atmosphere is amazing. I always say the fans here are unbelievable. Today is a good day.
“Let’s see (what we can achieve). We have to work hard.”
It’s certain that the Reds can go on to be a threat both domestically and in Europe this season, impressing against top opposition in one-off games—but they’ll be far more likely to get close to silverware if Coutinho remains at the club.
Fans will be hoping that nights such as this one convince the No. 10 to stick around a little while longer, especially as January replacements will be hard to come by.