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PSG sign free agent Lassana Diarra


Transfer Rater: Mo Salah to Real Madrid


LA Galaxy sign ex-Union mid Pontius

LA Galaxy

Coutinho texted former Liverpool boss Rodgers ahead of Barcelona move

The FC panel assess how the arrival of Virgil van Dijk and departure of Philippe Coutinho will affect Liverpool in the race for the top four.
Philippe Coutinho spoke to the Barcelona press for the first time, touching on his mood over the last six months, his message to Liverpool and what Neymar said to him about Barcelona.
Barcelona's new signing Philippe Coutinho has undergone a medical and contract signing after his move from Liverpool.
Philippe Coutinho was unveiled for the first time to the Barcelona supporters at the Nou Camp.
Philippe Coutinho says he can't wait to play with his idols like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as he begins life as a Barcelona player.

Brendan Rodgers has revealed Philippe Coutinho sent him a text message shortly before he completed his £142 million move to Barcelona as the Celtic manager backed the Brazilian to be a success at the Camp Nou.

Rodgers was the Liverpool manager who brought Coutinho to the Premier League from Inter Milan back in January 2013 as part of an £8.5m deal.

The Northern Irishman believes Coutinho, 25, is perfect for his new club after five impressive years on Merseyside.

"He sent me a nice text the other day when he was arriving in Barcelona," Rodgers said. "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 really. 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. He was a young player and they needed to sell one or two players to get some money into Inter Milan at the time. So he wasn't playing.

"I think people questioned when I brought him in whether he was big enough and tall enough. Was he maybe not as physical as the Premier League could be?

"But I'd seen him as a young player, saw him at Inter Milan at 18 around top players and I always felt he had the technical quality. And of course he was always going to get better physically.

Philippe Coutinho signed for Liverpool when Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

"He is a wonderful example. Of course it is difficult for players. It is hard if there is a move to a club, especially a move to a club that maybe he had wanted to go to.

"Clearly Liverpool rightly stood their ground until they got the fee they wanted. As soon as the window shut he got on with his work.

"He has been a great player for Liverpool in his time there and he is in the middle of his asset age, he's 25 years of age, so he's going to light it up there for the next eight, nine, 10 years.

"A brilliant, brilliant player and a really, really humble boy who works really hard and never forgets his roots."

Rodgers admits he has some "pride" in seeing a player he has nurtured go on to become the second-most expensive footballer of all time.

"That is the pride that is always in it for me," he added. "I've said before that for me it's not about what's on my CV. I see the joy in seeing the likes of [Coutinho] 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."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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