Neymar’s £198 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last month was always going to have side effects across Europe.
Barca brought in talented 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele for an initial £97 million, but they also saw multiple bids in excess of £100 million for Philippe Coutinho rejected by Liverpool.
The attacking midfielder reportedly had his heart set on a move to the Nou Camp, however the Reds continually insisted that their star man wasn’t for sale, and he remained at Anfield.
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Many people may have forgotten that Coutinho, who was Liverpool’s top scorer in all competitions last season, only signed a bumper new contract in January.
Coutinho’s new Liverpool contract
With everything that happened this summer, from transfer requests to “back problems”, we’ve decided to take a look back at what Coutinho said after his extension was announced.
The Brazil international agreed a five-year contract to keep him at Liverpool up to 2022 and make him the highest-paid player at the club, earning around £150,000-per-week.
Interestingly, the new deal, which came into effect in July, didn’t have a release clause included in it, and here’s what the man himself had to say.
What did Coutinho say?
“It is a club that I am very grateful to and this (contract) shows my happiness here,” Coutinho told Liverpool’s website, via BBC.
The gifted playmaker added: “I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it’s a great honour for me.
“It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day.”
Brendan Rodgers brought Coutinho to Merseyside from Inter Milan in 2013 for just £8.5 million, but despite multiple plaudits and individual awards, he is yet to win a trophy with Liverpool.
A lot can change in a few months
As stated above, Coutinho claimed he was happy and wanted to stay, but as circumstances changed, he submitted a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Barcelona.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Spanish giants will come back in for him next summer, and for now, he must rebuild his relationship with Liverpool fans.
Coutinho’s relationship with Liverpool fans
There’s a long way to go, but the 25-year-old received a warmer reception than Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez when he made his first appearance of the season last week.
Coutinho came on as a substitute in the Champions League against Sevilla before returning to the starting XI in the disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley.
No fan likes to see a player try to leave their club, however, one thing that Liverpool supporters will certainly appreciate from Coutinho is top-class performances on a consistent basis.
The Brazilian’s long-term future is uncertain, but with his technical qualities, Jurgen Klopp’s team will need him at his best if they are to compete this term – both domestically, and in Europe.
Liverpool fans: Are YOU willing to show full support to Coutinho this season, even though he might join Barca in the summer? Leave YOUR opinions in the comments box below!