Steven Gerrard believes Barcelona are putting pressure on Philippe Coutinho to force his way out of Liverpool this summer but told BT Sport that "the least he can do is give the club another year." according to ESPNFC.
Barcelona have targeted Coutinho as they seek to strengthen their squad following Neymar's €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain، but Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) issued a statement on Friday insisting the 25-year-old will not be sold.
The Brazil international responded by issuing a transfer request but manager Jurgen Klopp said the timing meant the move was out of the question.
Club legend Gerrard، who now works as an academy coach at Anfield، said in his role as a pundit for BT: "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."