Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho reveals he could join Barcelona in January

The Spanish giants had three bids – the last of them around £117m – rejected last summer when Coutinho was tempted by the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Nou Camp and submitted a transfer request.

Liverpool‘s owners insisted then that the Brazilian playmaker would not be sold but Barcelona have not ruled out a fresh attempt when the winter window opens in three weeks time.

Coutinho has responded well this season and insists any fresh speculation will not have a detrimental impact on his focus and form at Anfield.

He said: “I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

“I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters.

“Last summer there was a job offer [from Barcelona] in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed, I have played with will and desire.”

Coutinho was made captain against Spartak Moscow last night and responded by scoring a hat-trick as Liverpool ensured their progress to the Champions League knock-out stages for the first time since 2009 with a spectacular 7-0 win.

He added: “It was a special night due to the result and because I had the armband in such an important game for a club like Liverpool.”

Liverpool’s second seven-goal haul in the Champions League this season took their tally to 23 in their six Group E games – a new record for an English club in the group stages.