Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool “could not afford” to bring Philippe Coutinho back to the club this summer, with the Brazilian now on loan at Bayern Munich.
The attacking midfielder was unveiled by the Bundesliga Champions yesterday, in a deal that will see them pay £7.75m in loan fees along with the player’s salary.
An option to buy has also been negotiated, allowing Bayern to buy Coutinho for £110 million at the end of the season.
The announcement brings an end to a transfer saga that saw the former Liverpool star linked with a whole host of Premier League sides, including Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United – as well as a move back to Merseyside.
But, speaking to Goal and Spox, the Liverpool boss revealed it was in fact finances that prevented a move materialising.
"It sounds weird, but we could not afford it," Klopp said.
"We have already spent the money that we got for him."
One star out, two stars in
Since selling Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m in January 2018, the European Champions have made the signings of Virgil Van Dijk (£75m) and Alisson Becker (£62m) who have both had transformative effects on this Liverpool side.
A side that accumulated 97 points in the Premier League last season and has reached two Champions League finals in two years, winning this years’ final in Madrid back on June 1.
It seems ludicrous to think a club of Liverpool’s size could not afford a loan move such as this, but David Maddock of the Mirror suggested the fees for Liverpool would’ve been significantly higher than what Bayern are paying to Barca.
Jurgen Klopp in interview with German media, congratulates Coutinho on his 9 month loan to Bayern, and says it makes sense in a football context. But adds: "As weird as it sounds, we could not afford it" Given the loan cost for #LFC was £40m total (fee + wage), maybe not so weird— David Maddock (@MaddockMirror) August 19, 2019
Klopp also made it clear the Reds did not want to sell Coutinho, but what the Catalonian side were offering was too good to refuse.
“We were reluctant to hand him over, but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak,” he added.
"The move makes sense for both sides. He’s a super player and a great boy. He is a world-class footballer who can change games in the right environment."
It is yet to be seen whether Coutinho can reignite his career at Bayern after a disappointing spell in Spain.
Not bringing their former no.10 back could be a missed opportunity for Liverpool, given he thrived at the club and under this manager.
But Klopp will be confident in his squad, who discovered a new lease of life after Coutinho’s departure 19 months ago.