?Luis Suarez has opened up about Barcelona’s summer pursuit of Philippe Coutinho – and claims the Liverpool star definitely wanted the move to happen.
In quotes published by ?Mundo Deportivo, the Uruguay striker explained that he had talked to his fellow South American about joining him at Camp Nou.
Barcelona saw four offers for Coutinho rejected by Liverpool as their summer long chase for the playmaker proved to be fruitless, but La Blaugrana are still interested in prising him away from Anfield, with Paul Joyce in the ?Times claiming that a £130m bid could be forthcoming in January.
Suarez, for his part, stated his belief that the 25-year-old was clearly holding out for a switch to Catalonia but praised the Brazil international for getting his head down and continuing to fight for Liverpool despite not being granted a chance to leave.
The 30-year-old said: “Obviously he must have wanted (to leave) because he is a player who has ambition and any player would want to come to Barcelona.
“Despite trying to leave Liverpool he continued as one more helping the team and working. He is demonstrating as a professional who has the ambition to take a step further.”
Suarez played alongside Coutinho for Liverpool before the former opted to depart in a £75m move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014. Asked what Coutinho could offer to the current La Liga leaders, Suarez was unequivocal in his response.
He remarked: “A lot. I know him as a person and as a player because I played with him but what Coutinho can contribute everyone knows. He is a footballer who today is at a very high level.”
Barcelona and Liverpool are reportedly locked in talks over a potential January deal that would see Coutinho move to north eastern Spain for a fee that could cost a supposed £135m.