Jurgen Klopp has revealed that there was no convincing Philippe Coutinho to remain at Liverpool, as he was intent on leaving for Camp Nou.
The move to Barcelona was completed today, with the La Liga giants paying a fee of €160 million for his signature and tying him down till 2023, with his release clause set at €400 million.
Liverpool rebuffed offer after offer for the 25-year-old in the summer, and held on to him despite handing in a transfer request, in an attempt to force a move.
Klopp said the club tried everything possible to keep him, handing him a new contract with increased wage and incentives. However, Coutinho insisted on leaving and informed his teammates of his desire,
“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,” he told the Liverpool’s official website.
“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 team-mates 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,” added the German.
“The player remained dedicated and committed to helping us win matches, producing good performances and training hard each day at Melwood after the summer window had closed, despite failing to convince us to allow him to leave during that period and that level of professionalism reflects positively on him.”