Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that the club did their best in trying to persuade Philippe Coutinho to stay at Anfield after the Brazilian playmaker completed his dream move to Barcelona on Saturday.
Speaking on Philippe Coutinho’s move to the Nou Camp, he said:
“Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen,” He also added.
“I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 percent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.”
Barcelona tried to replace Neymar who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee of €222 million last summer with Philippe Coutinho, but a move failed to materialize despite the former Inter Milan attacker handing in a transfer request and the Catalans submitting bids in the excess of £100 million
However, given Coutinho’s stance on moving to the Nou Camp in the winter transfer window, the Reds hierarchy was forced to bow to his demands and reportedly agreed on a British record transfer fee of €160 million with the Spanish giants.
The German tactician also suggests that the attacking midfielder has been holding out for a move to the La Liga giants since his failed move last summer and even though his loss was difficult to take, players have their personal ambitions and goals in life.
Jurgen Klopp as quoted, he said:
“We managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window,”
“hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.”
“But,” he added, “as hard as it is sometimes to accept, it is part of life and part of football – individuals have their own dreams and their own goals and objectives in life.”
While the loss of Phillippe Coutinho is a big blow to the Reds, the emergence and rise of summer signing Mohammed Salah will give the Kopites hope of something better to come.
Since moving to Anfield from Inter Milan in the winter of 2013 for a reported fee of £8.5 million, the 25-year-old has established himself as one the finest playmakers in the Premier League and has played a total of 201 games for the Reds across all competitions scoring 54 times.