Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has broken his silence on his failed move to Barcelona, saying he was ‘honoured’ to be targeted by the La Liga side.
Barcelona’s attempts to sign Coutinho were thwarted, but the flirtation between the player and the Nou Camp is evidently not over.
The midfielder made his first start of the season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley, diplomatically speaking positively about his current employers and those he wanted to join.
“What happened was a job offer and, in life, sometimes you get interested; sometimes you don’t and, in my case, everyone knows that I got interested, my family too,” Coutinho told ESPN.
“As I have always said, it is a great offer to receive an offer from such a great club like that. But it is also a great honour being here. Liverpool is a great club worldwide. I’m here and I will give my best as always.
“It was a complicated month for me but as I have said, it is an honour to receive that offer but it is also an honour to wear this shirt, so what I can do is work hard and honour that on the field. It is all cool. I’m working hard, my thoughts are on the team’s goals, making a good season, with the national team too, doing my best to get there.”
Coutinho was welcomed back by Liverpool’s supporters – both against Sevilla in midweek and Burnley on Saturday.
The suspicion lingers Barcelona will return next summer, although Coutinho says he has been no promises Liverpool will be more receptive to bids at the end of this season.
“Not that I know of,” he said.
“I am in a place that I have always been given respect by everyone and me too respect everyone. I have conquered my space in four, five years and never had any problems with anyone – the fans, the board, my team-mates, the coaching staff. That has not changed. As I have said, in life, in every job you get an offer, interested or not. It is all in the past.”