By Will Butcher
Paul Merson believes Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge will remain at Liverpool next season despite reports suggesting otherwise.
Spanish publication Sport claimed earlier this month that Barcelona are interested in signing playmaker Coutinho, after a sublime season under Jurgen Klopp.
Sturridge is also said to be interesting other sides, with The Telegraph reporting that the England international is interesting Slaven Bilic’s West Ham.
Speaking to the Premier League Daily Show on Friday (10am), outspoken pundit Merson believes the former Man City striker is set to be the subject of huge interest this summer after spending the season on the fringes of the Liverpool team.
However, he believes both Sturridge and Coutinho will stay at Anfield in order to play a part in their Premier League title push and potential Champions League campaign next season.
“You would like to think both will be at Liverpool, they should be,” Merson said. “Coutinho won’t get in the Barcelona team and it looks like Liverpool will be in the Champions League. Why would you want to play anywhere else?
“If you get Sturridge fit I’m one of his biggest fans and he is as good as anybody in this league. But there will be so many clubs will be after him from the Premier League.”
Coutinho has reportedly caught the attention of Spanish giants Barcelona after a prolific season that has seen him score 13 goals and provide a further nine assists during 35 outings.
However, it has not been as successful for Sturridge, as he fails to put his injury demons behind him.
It has seen the 27-year-old fall down the pecking order, with the likes of Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi also vying to spearhead Liverpool’s attack.
Starting just 10 of his 26 appearances, Sturridge was handed his first start since January last time out against Stoke and took his chance by scoring his seventh goal of the season.
However, it remains to be seen if either will be on Merseyside next season, as Klopp looks to keep his best players.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Julian Draxler has had this to say about his January move to Paris Saint-Germain.