Jurgen Klopp's warning to Philippe Coutinho upon Liverpool exit for Barcelona was spot on

PHILIPPE COUTINHO perhaps should have listened to Jurgen Klopp before swapping Liverpool for Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp's warning to Philippe Coutinho upon Liverpool exit for Barcelona was spot on
Klopp had a clear warning for Coutinho before he left for Barcelona (Image: GETTY)

The Reds were forced to change their transfer stance after a series of meetings between the Brazilian and Klopp left the board with no option but to sell.

After the club had rejected three bids for the midfielder in August, Barcelona returned with an improved offer in January, desperate to replace Neymar, who had joined PSG for a world-record fee of £200m.

Klopp said himself that it was an easy decision to sell Coutinho once it became clear there was “no chance” of keeping him committed until the end of the season.

It would have been damaging to Liverpool’s campaign to hold onto a player who did not want to be there and after the £75million acquisition of Virgil van Dijk helped them reached the Champions League final, things did not work out too badly in the six months that followed.

But for Coutinho, his childhood dream of pulling on the Barcelona shirt has not been what he’d hoped for.

Joining halfway through a season was always going to be difficult, not helped by the fact he was ineligible for Barcelona’s Champions League campaign after participating in the group stages with Liverpool.

Ernesto Valverde has struggled to shoehorn the 26-year-old into his system and now one year on from the £142m deal’s completion, Coutinho’s Barcelona future is in serious doubt.

More often than not he has found himself on the bench this season being operated as an impact substitute, which has not left him best pleased.

The tricky dribbler with magic in his boots that we saw light up the World Cup is nowhere to be seen and he’s a ghost of the man with the devastating long shot we saw on Merseyside.

Coutinho's Barcelona future is now in doubt and he could well leave Camp Nou (Image: GETTY)

The Brazilian was in dire form in the defeat at Levante despite netting from the penalty spot (Image: GETTY)

Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more.

Jurgen Klopp

Despite scoring from the penalty spot in last night’s Copa del Rey defeat at Levante, he did not seem interested and drifted through the game.

It was his first start since Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham at the start of December.

With Barcelona keen on bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou, Coutinho could be used as a bargaining chip to ensure the Catalans confine with Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Klopp called it though. After his side secured Champions League qualification on the final day of the Premier League season in May 2017 vs Middlesbrough, he was pressed for clarity on Coutinho’s long-term Anfield future.

"Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour," the German said.

Liverpool were reluctant to sell Coutinho but he departed in January 2018 for a fee of £142m (Image: GETTY)

The "dream" move has not been what he'd hoped for (Image: GETTY)

"Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more."

Upon the sale, he ensured supporters that the club had done everything within their power to persuade Coutinho to stay but they were always fighting a lost cause.

After reluctantly sanctioning the transfer, Klopp made a promise that no other of their top stars would follow Coutinho out of the exit door.

He said: “As a club we have to be like there is no need to leave from the sports side.

Liverpool are currently four points clear at the top of the Premier League (Image: GETTY)

“We really have a lot to offer. The club is trying everything to do things differently.”

On the basis of Liverpool’s current position, he is a man of his word.

The world-class attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have all committed their long-term futures meaning they are no longer a selling club.

You’d pay good money to wonder just what is currently going on inside the mind of Coutinho but there is a fair chance he wishes he was still a part of Klopp’s juggernaut that sits four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Catch up on all the latest news about philippe coutinho,jurgen klopp and liverpool fc here.
READ SOURCE