Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho has refused to commit his future to the Premier League club, saying he does not know whether he will be the subject of a transfer bid in January.
Barcelona made repeated efforts during the summer window to land the Brazil international but were rebuffed each time, leaving him frustrated.
Since then speculation has continued to swirl over the future of the 25-year-old, who scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow on Wednesday, with his Catalan suitors reportedly ready to make another approach.
“I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters,” said Coutinho, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances this season.
“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.
“Last summer there was a job offer 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’s hat-trick was his first for the club and he hailed the achievement of making the latter stages of the Champions League as a significant moment.
“It was a special night due to the result and because I had the armband in such an important game playing for a club like Liverpool,” added the player, who captained the side at Anfield.
“For sure this is my most important hat-trick. In the Champions League it was my first one. I scored one for Brazil but this was more important.”
Defender Joe Gomez said Europe’s top clubs have every reason to fear Liverpool.
They finished the group stage with 23 goals – second-highest in the all-time list behind Paris Saint-Germain’s 25 from the current campaign – and although they avoided the likes of PSG and Barcelona, potential last-16 opponents include Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid.
“We believe we can beat anyone and we have to have that mentality,” said Gomez.
“We have great quality and they can be scared of us the same way we can be wary of them so that’s good.”