Belfast Telegraph

I was interested in Barcelona move, but it's an honour to play for Liverpool: Coutinho

Liverpool 1 Burnley1

By Carl Markham

Philippe Coutinho says it is an "honour" to still be at Liverpool after he failed to get his desired move to Barcelona.

The Spanish giants made several bids for the Brazilian playmaker over the summer, but the Reds rebuffed them all, even after the player handed in a transfer request.

The upshot is that Coutinho has remained on Merseyside, at the very least until the January window, and he was given a warm welcome by fans on his return to first-team action against Burnley on Saturday.

But it wasn't a winning comeback as Jurgen Klopps's side had to settle for a point after Mohamed Salah levelled Scott Arfield's opener for the visitors.

Coutinho has admitted he wanted to make the switch but is now moving on from the disappointment.

"The whole world knows what happened. From the first moment I played here and in the last game, I was very well received," the 25-year-old said.

"The respect I have for the fans and the respect they have for me appears to be maintained. What I need to do is to work hard and to always do my best to help the team.

"I received a job offer, like in life whatever work you do. Sometimes you're interested and sometimes you're not. In this case, like you all know, I was interested. My family too.

"But it's like I always said, it's a great honour to receive an offer for a great club like that. But it's also a great honour to be here. Liverpool is a great club. I'm here and I'm going to give it my best as always. It was a complicated month for me, but like I said I'm here now."

On whether he was angry at Liverpool for blocking his path, Coutinho added: "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."

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