Pundit Matt Le Tissier has claimed that Southampton almost signed Philippe Coutinho before Liverpool in 2013.
The Reds signed Coutinho from Inter Milan for a transfer fee of €13 million in 2013.
However, the Saints were “on the cusp” of signing Coutinho before Liverpool swooped in, according to Le Tissier.
Le Tissier told The Football Show on Sky Sports the following (9:09am, June 2, 2020): “It’s a player [Coutinho] who would improve us [Southampton].
“We were right on the cusp of getting Coutinho before he went to Liverpool. They came in and nicked him off us at the last minute, which was a huge disappointment to the club at the time and a big blow considering what he went on to achieve at Liverpool.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
I believe there could be some truth behind what Le Tissier has stated.
It has been reported by the Guardian that Inter Milan had accepted a £10.2 million bid from Southampton for Coutinho in 2013.
However, it was not meant to be for Southampton. It was actually a sign of things to come for the Saints.
Liverpool have bought a number of players from the club since 2014. Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk have all come directly from Southampton to Liverpool.
Coutinho may not have been a Southampton player at the time Liverpool bought him, but they did apparently steal him from them. As I said, it was perhaps a sign of things to come.