Jurgen Klopp reveals why Liverpool had no choice but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

Liverpool maintained throughout the process their eagerness to keep Coutinho at the club but in the end Klopp admits there was nothing they could do

Philippe Coutinho will formally be unveiled as a Barcelona player on Sunday
Philippe Coutinho will formally be unveiled as a Barcelona player on Sunday

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool did everything they could to keep Philippe Coutinho but in the end the Brazilian was "desperate" to leave for Barcelona.

The midfielder finally completed his long-awaited move from Anfield to the Nou Camp on Saturday evening in a deal that could rise to as much as £142m, making him the third most-expensive player in history.

Liverpool maintained throughout the process their eagerness to keep Coutinho at the club but in the end Klopp admits there was nothing they could do.

"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 club'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 Liverpool 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 that he doesn't want to extend that, the relationship we have for him means, with a heavy heart, we wish him well."

Monaco's Thomas Lemar is the club's first choice to replace Coutinho. The Ligue 1 champions have however proven tough negotiators and already rejected a late bid from Anfield in the summer believed to come to around £75m, so it could well take around £100m of Coutinho’s fee to sign Lemar. If they cannot push that through, they will move for Leicester's Riyad Mahrez.

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