Graeme Souness: How I’d handle Liverpool transfer saga

The Liverpool legend admits he probably would have fallen out with want-away Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho Photo: The Sport Review

Graeme Souness has admitted that if he would have fallen out with Philippe Coutinho if the ex-manager was still in charge of Liverpool.

The Reds have been without their Brazil international for the opening four games of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Coutinho was the subject of a number of bids from Barcelona in the summer transfer window to create uncertainty surrounding his Liverpool future.

The 25-year-old handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to the La Liga giants but the Reds refused to alter their stance on their No10.

Coutinho signed a new long-term contract with the 18-time English champions during the 2016-17 campaign to supposedly secure his future.

Liverpool suffered a 5-0 loss to title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend after Sadio Mane was sent off in the first half with the scoreline at 1-0.

The Senegal international’s three-game suspension could give Jurgen Klopp the opportunity to ease Coutinho back into the Liverpool starting line-up.

Former Liverpool boss Souness admitted that as a manager he would have handled the situation differently, although the club’s ex-captain conceded he was divided on what the Reds should do with Coutinho.

“Coutinho is Latin and gets the chance to go to Barcelona; that would be very attractive for him,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“On the other side of the coin as a Liverpool supporter, part of me wants him to stay. But there’s also a part that says if he wants to go so much, take the money. It really depends what side of the fence you’re on.

“I’ve been a manager so I’d be falling out with him because he signed a contract a year before. But from a player, and I’ve been in that situation, the chance to join Barcelona would be enormous for him. He may see it as a missed opportunity.”

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