Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Liverpool star Coutinho opens up over failed Barcelona move

Liverpool star Coutinho opens up over failed Barcelona move

Philippe Coutinho has spoken for the first time about how close he came to joining Barcelona but insists there is no agreement for him to quit Liverpool next year.

Coutinho was replaced by James Milner in the second-half of Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Burnley on Saturday, and Klopp has since revealed why there was some confusion over the substitution.

Struggling with an alleged back injury, Coutinho missed the first six games of the season for Liverpool, but returned in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League.

"I was interested by the offer but now my focus is on having a good season with Liverpool and with the national team", Coutinho told ESPN Brasil. 'Sometimes you don't and, in my case, everyone knows that I got interested, my family too.

"I'm in a place where I've always been respected by everyone and I respected everyone too".

PAUL ELLIS  GettyImages
PAUL ELLIS GettyImages

It is a great honour to have received an offer from such a great club - but it's the same here.

According to The Mirror, Barcelona are switching their attention from Philippe Coutinho to his Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane, with Juventus and Real Madrid also understood to be keen.

"But it's also a great honour being here, Liverpool is great club worldwide". As I have said, in life, in every job you get an offer, interested or not. We didn't want to change him, it looked a little bit confused when we brought the subs on because I asked him and it was a thumb up.

The 25-year-old's approach is a welcome one, rejecting the possibility of downing tools after the disappointment of Barcelona's failed pursuit.

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