Thursday 19 April 2018

'What happened was a job offer and, sometimes you get interested' - Coutinho breaks silence on transfer saga

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. Photo: PA
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. Photo: PA

Philippe Coutinho has spoken for the first time since his failed move to Barcelona this summer.

The Brazilian was the subject of three failed bids from the Catalan giants and submitted a written transfer request to swap Anfield for the Nou Camp.

But despite persistent interest right up until the deadline the 24-year-old did not get his wish and has subsequently been eased back into the fold after missing the start of Liverpool's season.

Jurgen Klopp expects the midfielder to return his best and be a key player this term and handed him his first Premier League start of the campaign in the 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.

And speaking afterwards Coutinho revealed just how close he came to leaving the club.

"What happened was a job offer and, in life, sometimes you get interested. Sometimes you don't and, in my case, everyone knows that I got interested, my family too," he told ESPN Brasil. "But as I have always said, it is a great offer to receive an offer from such a great club like that.

"But it is also a great honour being here. Liverpool is a great club worldwide. I'm here and I will give my best as always. I'm working hard, my thoughts are on the team's goals, making a good season."

Coutinho missed the start of the season as speculation continued over just where he would be playing his football this term but he is happy to now be back on the field.

"It was a complicated month for me but as I have said, it is an honour to receive that offer but it is also an honour to wear this shirt, so what I can do is work hard and honour that on the field. It is all cool," he added.

So will he follow good friend and former teammate Luis Suarez to the Nou Camp at some point?

"Not that I know of. I am in a place that I have always been given respect by everyone and (I) too respect everyone," he said. "I have conquered my space in four, five years and never had any problems with anyone – the fans, the board, my team-mates, the coaching staff. That has not changed. As I have said, in life, in every job you get an offer, interested or not. It is all in the past."

Independent News Service

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport