Liverpool Owner Intervened to Stop Barca Chief & Former Reds Scout From Securing Coutinho Transfer

Saturday September 2nd, 2017

The potential departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona this summer was ultimately stopped by Liverpool owner John W Henry personally, as the saga finally comes to an end.

The Reds' American owner personally intervened in proceedings, when it looked as though the 25-year-old Brazilian might get his dream move to Catalonia as the transfer window reached its final few days.

The Independent report that the now infamous statement by Fenway Sports Group (FSG) - Liverpool's ownership group - that the midfielder would not be sold under any circumstances this summer was Henry's idea.


Henry wanted to alter the perception of Liverpool as that of a 'selling club', after turning down a £138m bid from Barcelona for Coutinho.

The report also claims that reasons behind Barcelona's strong push to land Coutinho following Neymar's sale to Paris Saint-Germain relates back to former Reds technical academy manager Pep Segura.

Liverpool v Leicester City - Premier League

The Spaniard, now Barcelona's general manager, was angered by the Liverpool ownership back in 2012 when he served alongside former first team manager Brendan Rodgers.

According to the Independent report, Segura, the man in charge of Barça's recruitment, chose Coutinho as the club's number one target and made the deal a 'personal mission'.

With replacements needed for Neymar and the fading talents of midfield maestro Andres Iniesta the Catalans apparently believed a repeat of their 2014 deal for ex-Liverpool forward Luis Suarez would be straightforward.

However, keen to not let down the Anfield faithful, Henry and FSG stood firm to prevent the Brazilian leaving Merseyside despite handing in a transfer request.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.