Jamie Carragher sends message to Liverpool about decision to keep Philippe Coutinho
The Liverpool legend backs the Merseyside outfit's decision to keep Philippe Coutinho despite Barcelona's £118m offer
Jamie Carragher has backed Liverpool’s decision to keep Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho.
The Merseyside outfit managed to fend off interest from Barcelona in their prized asset over the past month to keep Coutinho in their ranks for the 2017-18 season.
Barcelona were rumoured to have offered a £118m deal to sign the South American midfielder as the La Liga giants look to replace Neymar following his £198m world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Catalan side issued a deadline for Liverpool to accept their offer on Sunday evening but the Reds refused to change their stance about keeping Coutinho.
The Reds have endured a frustrating summer transfer window so far after Klopp failed to land his top targets RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher believes Liverpool were right to resist Barcelona’s lucrative offer for the South American midfielder this summer.
“They will hang onto Coutinho now, of course. I don’t think there is any doubt now. I said a few weeks ago that they can’t sell him, but the problem is it becomes more political rather than the business of it,” Carragher told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.
“Liverpool have had such a poor window, they couldn’t be seen to be letting go of him. Now if Liverpool three big targets of Virgil Van Dijk, Naby Keita and Mo Salah had all come in the door, it may have been easier to prise him away.
“Even a supporter might have thought ‘120m for Coutinho?’ with the ability to go and spend that with a few weeks of the season to go, but they were never going to sell him because of the fact they had not bought enough players in.”
Coutinho scored 13 goals and made seven assists in 31 appearances in the Premier League last season.
The Brazilian moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.
Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League table last season to secure a return to the Champions League.