Coutinho can be Iniesta’s successor at Barcelona, says former Liverpool forward Luis Garica

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The 2005 Champions League winner believes the Brazilian should remain at Anfield for now, but sees a future for him at Camp Nou

Philippe Coutinho is considered to be a natural successor to Andres Iniesta at Barcelona by former Liverpool forward Luis Garcia.

The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou, with his creative ability making him a natural target for a club that prides itself on a ball-playing philosophy.

Current Barca star Neymar has also been quick to talk up such a move, with that stance reiterated during a recent quizzing on his fellow countryman.

Klopp: Coutinho lacking consistency

For now, though, Coutinho is committed to the long-term contract he signed at Anfield in January.

Luis Garcia believes staying put is the right decision, but a man who moved in the opposite direction during his playing days feels a role could open up in Catalonia once an iconic playmaker steps aside.

The 2005 Champions League winner told talkSPORT: “It is not the first time he has been linked to Barcelona and it would be a tough call for him, but hopefully he decides to stay at Liverpool.

UEFA Team of the Year Andres Iniesta

“Coutinho is a very important player for Liverpool and, as a former player from both teams and the love I have for both of them, I would like to see Coutinho for a few more years in a red shirt. 

“Coutinho is still a very young player. Iniesta is maybe going to be in the first team for two of three more years and with the quality and technique that Coutinho has got it would be a brilliant time for the team [for him to join].”

‘Coutinho has lost his magic’

Barca’s interest in Coutinho intensified after seeing the 24-year-old make a bright start to the 2016-17 campaign.

An untimely injury halted his progress and he is still searching for that level of consistency since returning from an ankle complaint.

He has, however, managed seven goals in all competitions for Liverpool and remains a key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s plans. 

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