Barcelona legend Xavi has advised Philippe Coutinho to ignore speculation linking the Brazilian with his former club, and to remain focused on Liverpool's title challenge.
Speaking to Goal, the Spaniard explained that whilst Coutinho would be a player that could improve Barcelona, it's important for him to think only of what the future on Merseyside holds - for now at least.
Coutinho's sparkling form gets Xavi talking
Coutinho has been linked furiously with Barcelona in recent weeks, mostly by Spanish papers, who believe that Luis Enrique is targeting the Liverpool player as a potential acquisition for the summer of 2017.
Speculation has only been intensified by Coutinho's recent form, with few - if any - playing better than him in the Premier League at the moment. He's picked up Man of the Match awards in each of Liverpool's past four league games, with Jürgen Klopp's side reaching the top of the table at the 11 game mark.
Xavi admitted as much, explaining that "Coutinho is a player I have always thought is special" but that he's "gone up another level" since the arrival of Klopp on L4. He believes that "on form there are not any better midfield players in Europe."
The difference this season, for Xavi, is that Coutinho is "consistenly playing well," and doing so under "one of the most intelligent coaches in Europe."
Barcelona talk must be ignored, says Xavi
Many have talked up Coutinho, who has impressed at times in a deeper role, to be Andres Iniesta's long term successor in the number eight role at Barcelona, linking up with international teammate and friend Neymar, and former Reds teammate Luis Suarez.
Speaking about a potential Coutinho transfer to Barcelona, Xaxi stated that "there are not many players that would improve Barcelona, but if you ask me, he [Coutinho] is one of them."
However, the former World Cup and Champions League winner gave Liverpool fans some hope by stating that "he needs to ignore all the talk and stay focused, because I think Liverpool have a real chance [at the league title] this season."