JURGEN KLOPP has hinted he believed Philippe Coutinho was ready to down tools to force through his £145m move to Barcelona.
The Liverpool boss begins life without the brilliant Brazilian against Manchester City tomorrow admitting the club were left with “no other option” but to let him go when they did.
Coutinho, 25, was unveiled as the world’s second most expensive player this week at the Nou Camp.
Had Klopp tried to keep him until the end of the season he would have been wasting his time, he says – while also making clear Coutinho had lost the heart to keep playing for Liverpool.
Klopp declares: “I know the club tried everything to convince Phil to stay and carry on together with us.
“It was his dream and there was a moment where we really had to accept that.
“We were fighting until the last second, tried everything.
“If we'd have said what we could have done – ‘here's your contract, and you have to stay here’ – it would have been difficult to use him in the second part of the season.
“That's a decision I have to make: Does it make sense, do I think we can use him, can he help us?
“It was 100 per cent clear, no chance. He was not ready to do that any more.”
The Brazilian stepped up his recovery from a thigh injury by training alone at Barcelona's training complex.
Coutinho is out of action for around 20 days but wants to waste no time in making his debut for the club.
The playmaker was put through his paces on the Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Joan Despi sandpit before working up a sweat at the club's top of the range facilities.
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