In the wake of Philippe Coutinho‘s $192-million transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona, the Brazilian’s now former manager, Jurgen Klopp, has spoken openly and honestly Coutinho’s “insistence” and “desperation” to leave Anfield.
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Klopp has also revealed the “great reluctance” felt by all at the club as the brilliant, world-class midfielder moves to Spain — quotes from LFC.com (read the full statement here):
“It is with great reluctance that we — as a team and club — prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho.
“It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known.
“Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen. Despite that, 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.
“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 per cent 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.
“Philippe has made a fantastic contribution to this club over his five years of service and as disappointed as we are he doesn’t want to extend that, the relationship we have for him means with a heavy heart we wish him well.”
Credit must be given to Coutinho, who remained patient and professional from September to December, as he never threatened to boycott training or make himself available for games. His performances this season, particularly over the last month or two, have been nothing short of sensational, and only served as further confirmation that he’s Barcelona-caliber player.
Liverpool have already announced they will present fans who bought Coutinho’s no. 10 jersey for the 2017-18 season (from the official club shop and/or website) a voucher to receive a new shirt, stating the gesture “reflects the exceptional circumstances behind the player’s departure.”