‘Barca Job Offer Got Me Interested’, Says Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho has claimed that he has no agreement in place to join Barcelona next summer and is committed to the Liverpool cause this season despite being denied a move to the Catalan club.
File Image of Jurgen Klopp and Phillipe Coutinho. (Getty Images)
Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho has claimed that he has no agreement in place to join Barcelona next summer and is committed to the Liverpool cause this season despite being denied a move to the Catalan club.Coutinho who made his first start of the season for Jurgen Klopp’s team over the weekend, played 79 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Burnley.
The Brazil international, given a rousing reception when he returned as a substitute against Sevilla in midweek, was the subject of three failed bids from Barcelona during the summer transfer window and submitted a transfer request in an attempt to force a move from Anfield.
Liverpool refused to consider selling the 25-year-old even when Barcelona’s third offer increased to a deal worth £119m and, speaking to ESPN after the Burnley game, Coutinho opened up what he termed as “a complicated month” for the first time.
“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,” the Liverpool player said.
“As I have always said, it is great 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. I’m here and I will give my best as always.”
“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. I’m working hard, my thoughts are on the team’s goals, making a good season, with the national team too, doing my best to get there,” said Coutinho, as reported in The Guardian.
Liverpool declined to sell Luis Suárez in 2013 before, having been repaid by an outstanding campaign from the Uruguay international, allowing him to join Barcelona for £75m the following summer. When asked if he expected to follow Suárez to the Camp Nou next year, Coutinho replied: “Not that I know of.” He added: “I am in a place that I have always been given respect by everyone and I too respect everyone. I have conquered my space in four, five years and never had any problems with anyone – the fans, the board, my teammates, 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.”
Klopp, meanwhile, has again insisted he has no concerns over Liverpool’s profligacy despite another trying afternoon. Liverpool had 35 shots but rarely extended Nick Pope on the goalkeeper’s first Premier League start, and required Mohamed Salah’s fine finish to cancel out Scott Arfield’s opener.
“I’m not worried,” said Klopp. “I’m still a football fan but I cannot think after 25 years in the business like a football fan. I know that the mother of all goals is the opportunity, the chance. If we’re not creating chances then I would be really concerned but we are creating. We had enough chances to win. We made a few wrong decisions on the pitch, but it was a really hard game to play.”