Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho showing ‘ambition to take a step further’ by wanting to join Barcelona, says Luis Suarez

Former Liverpool hero Luis Suarez has risked the wrath of Reds fans by saying Philippe Coutinho would ‘bring a lot’ to Barcelona if he moved to the Nou Camp.

Barca failed with tree big-money bids for Coutinho in the summer transfer window and despite repeated claims from Liverpool that their star man is not for sale, the Catalans are expected to come back in for the Brazilian in January.

Suarez played with Coutinho as Liverpool came agonisingly close to their first Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers in the 2013/14 season, and it appears the striker would be keen on a reunion in Spain.

Asked what the playmaker would bring to an already star-studded Barca side, Suarez said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo: “A lot.

“I know him as a person and as a player because I played with him, but everyone knows what Coutinho can contribute.

“He is a footballer, who today, plays at a very high level.”

Suarez added that Coutinho is merely showing ‘the ambition to take his career a step further’ by wanting to join Barca, but praised his former team-mate for knuckling down to work with the Reds after his dream move failed to materialise.

Coutinho was said to be desperate to join the LaLiga side in the summer, but Liverpool refused to do business despite a final bid of around £118million from the LaLiga club.

And when asked about the playmaker’s failed Nou Camp switch, Suarez added: “Obviously he must have [wanted to come to Barcelona] because he's a player who has ambition and any player would want to come to Barca.

“He went through a difficult and very complicated moment but as a professional he continued to show how good a player he is and the personal quality he has.

“Despite trying to leave Liverpool he continued helping the team and working. He is demonstrating as a professional who has the ambition to take a step further.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reportedly named three players he wants Barcelona to sign – and Coutinho wasn’t one of them.

Spanish publication Diario Gol says the maestro has been impressed by Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, who was linked with moves to Arsenal and Liverpool in the summer.

Messi is also apparently an admirer of Lyon forward Nabil Fekir, who has scored 12 goals in 15 games this season, as well as Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez, who wanted to join Barcelona in the summer but was not allowed to leave the Foxes.

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