Philippe Coutinho breaks silence on Barcelona interest

Coutinho breaks silence on Barca interest
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Philippe Coutinho concedes that he was desperate to join Barcelona in the summer, but insists that he is now fully committed to Liverpool.

Philippe Coutinho has conceded that he was desperate to join Barcelona in the summer, but the Brazilian has insisted that he is now fully committed to Liverpool.

It is understood that Barcelona were prepared to pay in excess of £100m for Coutinho in the summer transfer window, but Liverpool rebuffed the interest in order to keep hold of the playmaker.

The 25-year-old is believed to have handed in a transfer request in order to force a move to Camp Nou, although the Reds held firm, which proved an unpopular decision with the player.

Coutinho has admitted for the first time that he wanted to make the move to Barcelona, but the attacker has vowed to 'respect' Liverpool after failing to engineer an exit.

"What happened was that I received an offer for work and, in life, sometimes you're interested and sometimes not. In my case, as everyone knows, I was interested — and my family as well," Coutinho told ESPN Brasil.

"It was a complicated month for me. Everything is done now and I have to concentrate to ensure I have a good year and help my team. I want to help Liverpool and the national team.

"I have always respected Liverpool, the fans, the players and the directors. It is a great honour to have received an offer from such a great club — but it's the same here. Liverpool is a great club."

Coutinho made his first start of the season in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

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