Brendan Rodgers says Philippe Coutinho sent him a “nice text” ahead of his move from Liverpool to Barcelona.
Coutinho became the second-most expensive footballer in the world earlier this week when his £145m move to Barcelona was finalised.
It brings to an end a successful five-year spell with Liverpool, and it was Rodgers who initially signed the Brazilian in January 2013 from Inter Milan.
“He sent me a nice text the other day when he was arriving in Barcelona,” Rodgers told the Daily Record. “He is a great young guy, he was never a moment’s problem for me. He was a magical player to work with.
“It’s brilliant for both as he is a Barcelona player if ever there was one.
“At the time when I brought him, he wasn’t in the team at Inter Milan.
“People questioned whether he was big enough and tall enough.
“But I’d seen him as a young player at 18 at Inter Milan around top players and I always felt he had the technical quality. And, of course, he was always going to get better physically.
“We kept in contact ever since we left. Before he came over to Liverpool, he was low in confidence.
“I believed in his ability. It was clear what he was. If you see him play now, he played like that when he was an 11 year old child, if you see videos of him playing Futsal.
“He was exactly the same. But he needed that belief. He came in and developed and improved. He was outstanding for me and a real humble boy.
“He will go and join Luis (Suarez) now. They both got on very well.
“He is in the middle of his asset age, so he’s going to light it up there for the next eight, nine, ten years. A brilliant player who works really hard and never forgets his roots.
“I see the joy in seeing the likes of him get his move and Raheem Sterling improve from being an 18 year old kid and leaving for £49m and other players that I’ve worked with.
“You feel you have played a little part in helping them achieve what is a dream for them.”