Philippe Coutinho on Barcelona ‘job of­fer’: ‘some­times you get in­ter­ested’

The Guardian Australia - - Sport - Andy Hunter

Philippe Coutinho has claimed he has no agree­ment to join Barcelona next sum­mer and is com­mit­ted to the Liver­pool cause this sea­son de­spite be­ing de­nied a move to the Span­ish giants.

Coutinho made his first start of the cam­paign for Jür­gen Klopp’s team on Satur­day when he 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 Brazil af­ter Satur­day’s game, Coutinho dis­cussed “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 ad­mit­ted.

“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.

“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.”

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 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 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.”

Philippe Coutinho made his first Premier League start for Liver­pool in the 1-1 draw with Burn­ley on Satur­day. Pho­to­graph: Phil Noble/Reuters

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