Premier League clubs don’t usually welcome international breaks so early in the season but, for Liverpool, they were happy with a two-week break.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just once in their last seven matches in all competitions – and have failed to keep a clean sheet in those seven games.
A fortnight break to focus on their country before returning to Anfield ahead of a massive clash against Manchester United might be just what the Liverpool players needed.
And it turns out that many Liverpool players are having a pretty successful break with the national side.
The likes of Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge all helped England qualify for the Russia World Cup, Mohamed Salah was Egypt’s hero by scoring twice as they progressed to Russia, while Emre Can scored a screamer to open his account for Germany.
As for Philippe Coutinho, his Brazil side had already qualified for the World Cup with ease.
They draw 0-0 with Bolivia in their penultimate qualifier in the South American section and they host Chile in their final fixture.
With qualification already secured, you couldn’t blame the likes of Coutinho and Neymar for lacking a bit of motivation for their matches.
And it seems the duo have another agenda whilst on international duty – or at least Neymar does.
That’s because, according to Spanish outlet SPORT, Neymar has been very busy convincing Coutinho to join him at Paris Saint-Germain.
Having both been born in 1992, Neymar and Coutinho are great friends, playing together at various age groups for Brazil. Last summer, the world’s most expensive football sent the Liverpool star ‘hundreds’ of WhatsApp message in an attempt to convince him to sign for PSG.
However, after Coutinho told him that he wanted to play for Barca, Neymar realised he was fighting a losing battle.
But after Liverpool refused to let him go, Neymar is up to his old tricks once again during this international break.
And SPORT report: “He [Neymar] is asking him to continue at Liverpool until the end of the season and, after the World Cup, accept the offer that will come from PSG.”
But PSG still face competition from Barcelona.
And the Spanish club have an advantage. They are likely to pursue him in January – something that PSG can’t due to their UEFA Financial FairPlay restrictions.
And Neymar is well aware that Coutinho’s preference is still to sign for the Camp Nou club.
The report suggests that he’s doing everything in his power to stop Coutinho from signing for his former club – including asking for them to be expelled from the Champions League for the non-payment of the second part of his renewal bonus.
But after all of Neymar’s hard work, the report claims that Coutinho “still believes there is no better destination than Barcelona.”
There’s going to be an alright battle to sign the Liverpool midfielder next summer, it seems.