Neymar tells secret to PSG pals about Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona transfer

Neymar tells secret to PSG pals about Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona transfer

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has lifted the lid on a conversation he had with Philippe Coutinho, shortly after he sealed his record-breaking move to Barcelona.

My instinct tells me that Coutinho was persuaded to play on after his clear disappointment at missing the boat in the August transfer window because he received a promise that he would be sold to Barcelona.

"But I'd seen him as a young player at 18 at Inter Milan around top players and I always felt he had the technical quality".

"They understood that it was what I wanted", Coutinho said.

Liverpool stood their ground and nearly won a Premier League title when they refused to allow Luis Suarez to go to Spain.

Meanwhile the player, who previously spent a spell with Barca's neighbors, Espanyol, commented it was a dream for him to be able to play in the Camp Nou.

Coutinho had hoped to be part of a Barcelona side leading the Spanish league by nine points far earlier.

But minutes before he put pen to paper, the club said a thigh injury would delay his debut until the end of January. "We need to thank Liverpool as well for agreeing to negotiate, because otherwise this wouldn't have been possible". Who do Liverpool get in to replace him?

"We are thrilled that one of the best players in the world is now with Barcelona".

The swoop for Coutinho - which contains a 400 million-euro release clause - is the third biggest transfer in football history, outranked only by Paris Saint-Germain's world record 222 million-euro signing of Neymar from Barcelona past year, and their capture of French striker Kylian Mbappe for a deal eventually worth 180 million euros.

Neymar and Philippe Coutinho go way back, having both come up through the Brazilian youth ranks together. "I'm here to try to gain my space in the team".

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