LONDON – Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp defended on Friday Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona, although he acknowledged he would have liked to keep him at Anfield.
Speaking at a press conference for their home Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur, Klopp said that Liverpool’s loaned players such as Jon Flanagan and Lazar Markovic were seeking more minutes.
“We did what we thought was right. Not everything was in our hands. Would we have preferred to keep Phil Coutinho? Yes, of course, I think everybody knows that,” Klopp said.
After months of rumors about him moving to Barcelona, the Brazilian attacking midfielder Coutinho joined the Catalan club during the winter transfer window, reportedly for 160 million euros ($198.6 million), on a contract that includes a 400-million-euro buyout clause.
The German coach said that English forward Daniel Sturridge left Liverpool on loan to West Bromwich Albion seeking more minutes with his eyes on the upcoming World Cup.
“Daniel wanted to leave as well and we have, with Roberto, Dom and Danny Ings, three players in that position, plus maybe Mo Salah on a specific day can play it as well. So that made sense as well (and) that’s why we did the business we did,” he added.