It turns out Barcelona’s pursuit of Coutinho was personal.
Not only did they want one of the world’s best playmakers among their ranks, but the man in charge of player recruitment Pep Segura had a more direct reason to target Liverpool’s Brazilian, according to Simon Hughes in the Independent.
Segura worked as the Academy Technical Manager at Liverpool between 2009 and 2012, and so impressed were FSG by the manner in which he improved Raheem Sterling especially, they promoted him to Sporting Director at the end of the 2011/12 season.
In fact, Segura had sat down with John W Henry for a three hour meeting and was excited about his new role with the first-team.
But when the Spaniard turned up to work on the first day of pre-season, he was told by new manager Brendan Rodgers he wasn’t needed and was to head back to the Academy.
Segura tried to contact Henry but could not – and having not been personally informed of the club’s new decision – resigned on the spot.
“Those who knew Segura best from his time at Liverpool describe him as a professional and so, his hurt was understandable considering he had been treated without the necessary level of respect. Sources in Catalonia, meanwhile, say Segura has a long memory. Now Barcelona’s general manager having returned to the club where he built his coaching reputation, and as the person overseeing player recruitment, it is told he has viewed the signing of Coutinho as a personal mission.”
It does sound like shockingly unprofessional behaviour from Liverpool – and we can appreciate entirely why Segura has no time for our owners.
As fans though, we are glad though that he failed in his mission to lure Coutinho to Camp Nou. The no.10 will return from international duty and join up with his team-mates once again in Liverpool – surely rid of his invented back issue.
Hopefully he can follow the example of Luis Suarez, who equally wanted out of Liverpool, before 2013/14.