Liverpool transfer news: Coutinho speaks up on failed Barcelona move, Pellegrino drops van Dijk hint and more - 18th September 2017
Coutinho opens up
Coutinho finally spoke about the Barcelona move -- for the first time since the saga began -- confirming that he was interested in the move.
The Liverpool no.10 said, "What happened was a job offer and, in life, sometimes you get interested, sometimes you don’t, and in my case, as everybody knows, I got interested, my family too. But as I’ve always said, it’s a great honour to receive an offer from such a great club like that, but it’s also a great honour being here - Liverpool is great club worldwide.
"Now I’m here and I’ll give my best, as always. I've never had any problems with anyone here. I've always respected the support very much of the groups. The players, the directors, the technical staff. And that hasn't changed at all. Like I said, whatever job offers you get, some interest you and others don't."
The Brazilian also responded to queries about his disappointment in a professional manner: "No. It's all done now. I have to work. I'm focused on working hard and to have a good year if possible. In the end, I have to help my team."
Thus, Barcelona might come back in for Coutinho next summer but his focus is firmly on Liverpool this season.
Saints manager hints at van Dijk leaving in January
Southampton manager Mauricio Pelligrino wanted to reinforce the squad with the sale of Virgil van Dijk as per The Times. However, the board reportedly overruled him and the Dutch defender made his return to the first team last weekend after his transfer request during the summer.
The former Alaves manager said everything is normal at the moment and added, “We never know how will be the market in January because we can bring some players because every single squad can improve."
“We have got people who are working to improve our squad all the time, and for the other teams it is the same. They will push to bring the best players. Virgil is one case because he is one of the best players in the Premier League and it is normal that the biggest teams in the Premier League want to sign him.”
Finally, he ended the topic by saying:
“Around the player there is a lot of interest. You know how it works by now, it is a big business behind them. In the past we were a game, now we are a game but also a big business, and we have to accept that. Around him also in the same situation. Now we have to leave aside the situation and now everything is normal."
Thus, there is a good chance the saga might get back on in January and Liverpool might end up getting their top target in the end.
Mane is a wanted man
Barcelona are set to turn their attention away from Coutinho and towards Sadio Mane, The Mirror reports. The Senegalese forward has been in sensational form since he signed for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and has started the season strongly.
The 25-year old can play on either wing and has a superb goal output having scored 13 times last term. His performances have not gone unnoticed across Europe as Champions League holders Real Madrid and Italian giants Juventus are also rumoured to be interested in the winger.
Thus, only time will tell whether Liverpool have to ward off interest for one of their prized assets in upcoming transfer windows.