When Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2017, there was a fair amount of bad blood perceived to be stirring behind closed doors.
The Brazilian lost a lot of love from the supporters, which is usually the case when a talented player wants to leave, but this was a little different.
Phil had not long signed a contract before he told Jurgen Klopp he wanted to leave the club – via email, which didn’t go down well – but the boss listened and didn’t overreact.
Speaking on the Pure Football Podcast, the German explained that the former Liverpool No.10 wasn’t the bad guy he was painted out to be.
“I really respected Phil’s switch from the first second,” he said on the podcast. “Not that I do that all the time but it felt oh wow that could be difficult.
“So it’s not about yes we signed a new contract so many weeks before that but it was really clear he would not have asked me for any other club but for this club, there was no chance.
“Then we had to be hard in the summer because we had no other solution. We lost Adam Lallana [to injury] in that time as well, we would have lost two players.
“That’s not possible, you cannot solve that on the transfer market.
“He was open to that [staying] and that was really cool. Then you have to be fair in the window and say we can do it, we don’t like it but we can do it.”
To be honest, Klopp isn’t the kind of character to throw someone he’s worked with under the bus – he only ever has nice things to say about his colleagues.
Losing Phil the way we did stung, no doubt, but we have to look at the bigger picture: we had a lad in the squad that wanted to play for another club.
We can’t have that. From his first few months at the club, Klopp only wanted players who wanted to be at Anfield. This, too, was the case with Phil.
And it seems what went on behind the scenes may not have been as sinister as first thought.