Sir Alex Ferguson sends message to Liverpool FC fans about Philippe Coutinho
Sir Alex Ferguson gives his take on how the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga played out at Liverpool FC
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that he sympathises with Liverpool about the uncertainty that has surrounded Philippe Coutinho in recent weeks at Anfield.
The 25-year-old playmaker was heavily linked with a transfer away from Anfield in the closing weeks of the summer window after he emerged as a top target for Barcelona.
The player himself was desperate for a move to the Camp Nou and handed in a transfer request last month in a bid to try and force through a switch to the Spanish club.
And former Manchester United manager Ferguson believes that the whole situation could have been avoided if the transfer window closed earlier in the summer.
Speaking at the Uefa Elite Coaches Forum in Nyon, Ferguson said: “I think strong management is crucial in this situation.
“Part of your job as a coach also is to educate your players’ character so they have a responsibility to what they’re doing.
“Obviously, in some cases, that is changing a bit. It’s disappointing because I’m sure that, in the case of Liverpool, they did a very good job in making Coutinho the player he is today.
“So, it’s a bit disappointing but you have to deal with it and the transfer window doesn’t help in that situation.
“If it closed in July, Coutinho would have continued playing and it would have been gone. The matter would have been over.
Liverpool will be hoping to challenge for both the Premier League title and the Champions League in Jurgen Klopp’s second full season in charge at the club.
The Reds secured their qualification for Europe’s elite club competition thank to their fourth placed finish last term, and their play-off victory over Hoffenheim last month.
Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League table after their thumping 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield last weekend.
Klopp’s side return to Premier League action after the international break with a crunch clash against Manchester City at The Etihad.