Liverpool had 'no option' but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona - Klopp

Liverpool had 'no option' but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona - Klopp
From ESPN - January 12, 2018

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool had "no other option" but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona after it became clear there was "no chance" the Brazilian could play for the Reds in the second half of the season.

Coutinho left Liverpool for the Nou Camp earlier this month in a 142 million deal (after add-ons) that makes him the second-most expensive footballer of all time.

Liverpool had resisted three offers from Barcelona in the summer, with the 25-year-old eventually returning to the squad after missing the entire month of August as he attempted to push through a move to Spain.

When asked at his pre-Manchester City news conference on Friday why Liverpool sold Coutinho, Klopp replied: "Because there was no other option. That's, I would say, a pretty easy answer.

"If there's somebody, maybe, who should be angry or massively disappointed -- or whatever in this case -- then it could be the manager of the club, but I am not. Because I know we tried absolutely everything. The club tried everything to convince Phil to stay here and carry on going the way together with us.

"It was his dream and it's the truth when I say he left Liverpool only for one club -- and it was Barcelona. That was the moment when we really had to accept that. The club was fighting until the last second, if you want, and really tried everything. That's the case.

"I knew when it will come up again in this transfer window. It came up massively that it would be very difficult if we say: 'Here's your contract, you have to stay here' and to use him as a player in the second part of the season. That's the decision I have to make -- does it make sense? Do I think I can use him still and help us?

"To be honest, it was 100 percent clear [there was] no chance. He was not ready to do that anymore.

"He did fantastic in the first part of the season after the thing we had to deal with in the summer. The team did really brilliant with that -- how the whole club did, Anfield itself. But it was clear that's over now and we cannot do anymore. We made that decision."

Klopp has vast experience of losing key players during his managerial career, having seen the likes of Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Nuri Sahin leave Borussia Dortmund during his seven years in charge there.

"It's normal in this business -- you lose players, you buy players, you bring players through," he added. "You always need to react. It's all about the atmosphere in the club. On Sunday, for example, if there's a free kick in the stadium from 18 or 20 yards and everyone is thinking: 'ah, Phil'. That would be not too cool. It's how it always is with the past -- use it, but do not suffer because of it."


Continue reading at ESPN »