Coutinho's World Cup dream dashed by £12m Liverpool target

Luiz Felipe Scolari watched Roberto Firmino in Hoffenheim training this week - all but ending any hope Philippe Coutinho had of sneaking into the fold.

The season may not be over, and Liverpool might end it as champions, but they are already being linked with improvements to their current squad.

It was reported in The Mirror back in February that the club had already decided on their ‘top transfer target’ for the summer - in the form of Robert Firmino.

The 22-year-old Brazilian, reportedly valued at £12 million, has been in great form this season for TSG Hoffenheim - and Liverpool feel he fits in the Brendan Rodgers mould perfectly.

Unfortunately they won’t be welcoming him to the club this summer - after he signed a new contract with his current club last month.

The attacking midfielder has bagged 14 goals and 10 in his 28 Bundesliga games this season - impressive figures indeed and form that has seen him linked with a shock call-up to the Brazilian national team.

Those links have been mainly speculation until now - but with Luiz Felipe Scolari said to be watching him those rumours have become substantial.

Scolari has been pictured at the Hoffenheim training facility this week - taking in the performances of this talented attacker.

He was snapped alongside Firmino’s consultant Roger Wittmann and the club president Peter Hoffmann.

So while Scolari appears to be taking a very keen interest in the progress of this former £12 million Liverpool target - what about a current Liverpool player desperate for a chance to play at the World Cup this summer.

Philippe Coutinho has continuously spoken about his desire to force his way back into the Brazilian squad in time for the World Cup - after not playing for Selecao since his one and only game in 2010.

Unfortunately for Coutinho he has struggled with injury this season - and despite being key in the club’s attempt at a Premier League tile - it appears that Firmino, who has never played for Brazil at any age group, is ahead of him in the already long list of suitors.

Coutinho can probably book his summer holidays.

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