Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has revealed why Philippe Coutinho is now under pressure to join Barcelona.
Gerard said the Catalans have told the Brazilian “now or never” thereby putting pressure on him to force his way out of Liverpool this summer.
Barcelona have targeted Coutinho as they seek to strengthen their squad following Neymar’s €222 million move to PSG.
But Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, FSG, have insisted the 25-year-old will not be sold.
Coutinho however, issued a transfer request.
Gerrard told BT sports, “The problem here are Barcelona, because they will be saying to Coutinho’s representatives: ‘It’s now or never.
“If he doesn’t come now, we’re never coming back for him ever again.’ So they’re piling the pressure on and that’s why Philippe’s reacted.
“This kid who’s come from South America has always had a dream of playing for Barcelona, and he’s panicking thinking that if he doesn’t do it now it’ll never happen again.”
Asked if he had sympathy for Coutinho, Gerrard said, “A little bit. Of course.
“I know the kid, I know he’s not a bad person, I know he doesn’t want to cause a war to come out.
“But at the end of the day he’s just signed a five-year deal, the club have been superb to him and made him the player he is.
“You remember he was struggling at Inter Milan. We gave him the chance, we built this player up. The least he can do is give the club another year.”