Former Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier believes Liverpool will sell Philippe Coutinho next season for a bigger fee than they were promised this season given that they have tied him down to a long-term contract. The Reds rejected three bids from Barcelona for the Brazilian this summer, including offers above £100m ($129m).
The Brazilian was involved in one of the summer window's most stretched and turbulent transfer sagas, with Liverpool standing firm and refusing each of the three lucrative offers tabled by Barcelona.
Coutinho, who signed a five-year deal in January this year, has missed all three of the Reds' opening league matches against Watford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal in addition to the Champions League play-off matches with Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim due to a combination of back issues and illness. However, he was back in the team against Sevilla in their opening Champions League group game.
However, Le Tissier believes that the Reds were right to keep the forward as it would give them a better chance of winning major trophies this season.
"I think to give themselves the best chance possible of succeeding in any of the competitions, you want your best players at your football club," he said on Sky Sports, as quoted by the Express.
"He's got a long enough contract behind him that Liverpool were able to go 'do you know what, no, not this summer. We need you in the squad, we want to push forward ourselves as a football club and get better and the only way we can do that is to keep our best players.'
"The length of the contract was the key for me. I think if he would have had two years left, maybe even three years left on his contract, it may have been a little bit of a different situation.
"But because they had that really long contract behind him, Liverpool thought they could do that. If he has a good season this season, they will probably sell Philippe Coutinho for even more next summer than what they turned down. That's a similar situation to Virgil (van Dijk) and my club [Southampton]."