Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho may have to "create a war" in order to push through a move to Barcelona this summer, according to Reds legend and academy coach Steven Gerrard.

Coutinho, 25, is eager to swap Merseyside for Catalonia before the end of the transfer window and Barcelona are prepared to pay a fee of £120m in order to land the Brazil international, but Jurgen Klopp's men do not wish to sell their prized playmaker for any price.

Despite their stance, Gerrard thinks Liverpool are facing a "very difficult situation" with Coutinho, who signed a new five-year contract with the Reds earlier this year. Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez have taken the path Coutinho wishes to follow in recent years, and Gerrard thinks he could ultimately do the same this summer if he is willing to conjure up a storm at Anfield.

"It's very, very difficult, especially with South American players who always go on record saying it's a dream of theirs to play for Barcelona," Gerrard said on BT Sport, relayed by the Daily Mail. "I've experienced it before as a player and a fan with (Javier) Mascherano, with (Luis) Suarez and it's a very, very difficult situation for a club to be in.

"The good thing from the Liverpool fans' point of view is the manager (Jurgen Klopp) is desperate to keep hold of him and is trying to keep hold of him. The board want him to stay, this is not a situation where Liverpool need money or to cash in.

"We're not a selling club so they're gonna do everything in their power for him to stay but at the end of the day it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he's prepared to do, what type of war he's prepared to create to get out because Liverpool won't make it easy for him."

Coutinho does not seem to be willing to destroy his relationship with Liverpool in order to seek pastures new, but Barcelona are intent on recruiting the former Inter Milan starlet as they seek to spend the money received from the sale of Neymar.

Barcelona are targeting Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele as well as Coutinho, but a deal for the precocious Frenchman is proving difficult with Sport reporting that the Westfalenstadion outfit are demanding €150m in order to part with the attacker.

Dortmund only signed Dembele from Rennes last year, and the French outfit could receive a €27.6m windfall if Barca pay Dortmund's asking price due to a sell-on clause included in the deal that took their former wonderkid to North-Rhine last year.

Philippe Coutinho
Gerrard thinks Coutinho may have to start a "war". Getty