Steven Gerrard sends positive message to Liverpool fans about Philippe Coutinho

The Liverpool legend is optimistic that Jurgen Klopp’s influence could convince Philippe Coutinho to stay

Steven Gerrard believes Jurgen Klopp’s eagerness to keep Philippe Coutinho could ensure the Liverpool star remains at Barcelona.

The Reds are fending off interest from Spanish giants Barcelona in the 25-year-old attacker in the summer transfer window.

The La Liga side are thought to have earmarked Coutinho as a replacement for Neymar after the Brazil striker completed a world-record £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain last week.

However, Liverpool boss Klopp has regularly reiterated his stance that Coutinho is not for sale this summer with a place in the Champions League at stake.

The Merseyside outfit will take on Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in the Champions League playoff round with a spot in the group-stage draw up for grabs.

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard believes Klopp could have a key role to play in Coutinho’s transfer saga, adding that the German’s determination to keep the Brazilian could be crucial.

“It’s a dream for these South American players,” Gerrard told BT Sport.

“I’ve experienced it before – both as a fan and player – with Mascherano and Suarez.

“It is a very difficult situation for the club to be in.

“The good thing from Liverpool’s point of view is that the manager is desperate to keep hold of him and the owners want him to stay.”

Coutinho moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A champions Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window under Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League table in Klopp’s first full season in charge as Coutinho netted 13 times and made seven assists to help the Reds secure a Champions League spot.