Philippe Coutinho is poised to spend some of the best years of his career with Liverpool.
Coutinho has agreed to sign a new, long-term contract with Liverpool, according to The Guardian, Mirror and Liverpool Echo. Coutinho’s new deal will expire in 2020 and include a hefty pay raise, which reflects his importance to the Reds’ cause.
Coutinho, 22, has flourished since joining Liverpool in January 2013 in a £8.5 million ($12.9 million) transfer from Italian club Inter Milan. The Brazilian now is Liverpool’s creator-in-chief and was voted its player of the month in October and December 2014.
Coutinho’s energy and abilities both to control the tempo of games and make killer passes helped him become a fan favorite at Anfield. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Coutinho, who has scored two goals in 31 games this season, can join the ranks of world-class players if he improves his goal-scoring totals.
“His courage and bravery to get on the ball is fantastic,” Rodgers said Monday, according to the Guardian. “If he can continue to improve, and there are areas where he can improve like his goalscoring, then he can get into that bracket of being world-class.
“Phil’s numbers will improve, but it’s not the be-all and end-all if he doesn’t get 20 goals. His functions are elsewhere in the team.”
Coutinho’s current contract expires in 2018 and pays him a reported £35,000 a week ($2.7 million annually). Coutinho’s new deal will tie him to the club for an additional two years and double his salary to £70,000 a week ($5.4 million per year), according to the Mirror.
Coutinho already has agreed in principle to the improved terms and is expected to sign the new contract by the end of this week, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Coutinho can become an icon at Liverpool and a regular on Brazil’s national team if he continues on his upward trajectory through the length of his new contract.
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com
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