Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted that the club were interested in re-signing Philippe Coutinho, but couldn’t afford to bring the Brazilian back to Anfield.
Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on-loan for the 2019-20 campaign on Monday with the Bundesliga champions having the option to make the move permanent for €120 million (£110m/$133m) at the end of the season.
As part of the deal Bayern have paid an €8.5m loan fee and agreed to take on the 27-year-old’s full salary.
The forward struggled to live up to expectations at Barca following his €160 million (£147m/$178m) move from Liverpool in January 2018. As a result the club were actively looking to sell the Brazilian during the summer transfer window.
He had been suggested as a potential makeweight in a deal to take Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain back to Camp Nou. Former club Liverpool were also linked with a move for the former Inter man but a deal never materialised.
Now it appears the Reds were offered the chance to bring the player back to Anfield, but they didn’t have the finances to complete the deal.
"It sounds a bit strange, but we could not afford it, we have already spent the cash that we got for him," Klopp told Goal and Spox.
The German also revealed that he did not want to sell Coutinho 19 months ago but Barca’s offer proved too good to turn down.
“We were reluctant to hand him over, but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak,” he added.
"The move makes sense for both sides. He’s a super player and a great boy. He is a world-class footballer who can change games in the right environment."
Klopp reinvested the money received from the Coutinho deal in goalkeeper Alisson Becker for £67m ($81.3m) from Roma and Virgil van Dijk for £75m ($91m) from Southampton.
Both players proved instrumental in Liverpool's Champions League triumph last season as well as their 97-point effort in the Premier League which saw them narrowly miss out on the title.
Klopp was quiet in the transfer this summer though, with goalkeeper Adrian the only senior player to arrive at the club, and doing so on a free transfer.