Coutinho poised for new Liverpool contract

Liverpool are set to extend the stay of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho after it emerged he was on the verge of penning a new deal, Sky Sports is reporting.

Coutinho cost the Reds £8.5m back in 2013 from Inter Milan and has since become a firm favourite with the crowd at Anfield.

The playmaker has become renowned for his talent with the ball and has made some stunning passes since arriving on English soil – and bagged both assists in Saturday’s 2-0 win over West Ham.

A new deal has been readied for the 22-year-old and is set to keep the player at the club until 2020.

Manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his delight at the pending contract signing and described his player as a “little magician” in the wake of the news.

He said: “Young Phil is performing at a real high level and it’s a great to see because he’s a little magician with the ball.

“The rhythm of his game is good. His courage and bravery to get on the ball is fantastic.

“If he can continue to improve – he can improve his goal-scoring ability – then he will get into that bracket of being world class.”

There has been criticism levelled at the Brazilian however that he does not score enough goals for the club – his tally of just two this season is evidence of this – with the player missing some guilt edge chances such as one against Chelsea in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final defeat.

However Rodgers is unconcerned with such statistics and believes the player’s game is all about chance creation, likening Coutinho to Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

He added: “You look at Modric, he doesn’t have a big goal scoring record but he is a world class player.

“He is a continuity player. He takes the ball in the middle of the field, he can make the passes, serving the ball from behind and he gets the odd goal from outside the box.

“He is a top-class player who opens the door for the team in the centre of midfield. Toni Kroos is another of that type – a wonderful footballer and great passer.

“Those two maybe don’t get as many goals as their technique would suggest but that goes back to their role in the team. Their role is to sit behind the ball and serve the ball and create the game for others – not necessarily to score 15 or 20 goals a season.”

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