Ferguson sympathises with Liverpool over Coutinho saga

Date published: Thursday 31st August 2017 9:10

Sir Alex Ferguson has described Philippe Coutinho’s transfer saga with Liverpool as “disappointing”.

Coutinho has angled for a move to Barcelona throughout the summer, having handed in a transfer request earlier this month.

Liverpool have already rejected three offers from the La Liga club for the Brazilian’s services, and are adamant that he will not be sold this summer.

Coutinho is yet to play at all this season due to injury, although he will feature for Brazil on international duty this week.

Former Manchester United manager Ferguson says that the late closure of the transfer window – Spanish clubs can still complete deals up to Friday – is to blame.

Speaking at the UEFA Elite Coaches Forum in Nyon, he said: “I think strong management is crucial in this situation. Part of your job as a coach also is to educate your players’ character so they have a responsibility to what they’re doing.

“Obviously, in some cases, that is changing a bit. It’s disappointing because I’m sure that, in the case of Liverpool, they did a very good job in making Coutinho the player he is today.

“So, it’s a bit disappointing but you have to deal with it and the transfer window doesn’t help in that situation.

“If it closed in July, Coutinho would have continued playing and it would have been gone. The matter would have been over.

“The recommendation we look at is to close the window before the season starts, so everyone knows which players they’ve got and aren’t waiting to see what the first results are going to be.”

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