Former Liverpool and England midfielder Steve McManaman has questioned the timing of Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona.
The long-running saga was finally put to bed yesterday when it was revealed that the 25-year-old Brazilian international would be moving to the Nou Camp for a whopping £142 million.
Speaking on BT Sport, the 45-year-old who made over 270 appearances for the Reds, as well as enjoying a successful four-year spell in Spain with Real Madrid, expressed his surprise at the timing of the move and questioned the logic behind leaving the Brazilian move now rather than at the end of the season.
“They could’ve easily done the deal and gone at the end of the season…I just don’t see what advantage he’s got for Barcelona and Liverpool.”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 6, 2018
Citing the fact that he was in really good form, had skippered Liverpool on occasions this season, was part of a Liverpool team that are going really well in the Premier League, McManaman would have loved to have seen Coutinho remain in England.
“They could have easily done the deal and gone at the end of the season.
“(Barcelona) are playing really well – I don’t see what advantage he’s got for Barcelona or Liverpool.”
On top of that, the Brazilian will now be ineligible for the Champions League.
Responding to the question of if selling the play-maker was a lack of ambition on Liverpool’s part, McManaman didn’t feel this was the case, saying that if a player wants to go he should go and that:
“Your never going to to stop a Brazilian from going to Barcelona.”
The former Anfield favourite added that such a move was just a ‘part of life’.
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena