Jurgen Klopp has once again assured Liverpool fans he did everything he could to keep Philippe Coutinho at Anfield.
The Reds turned down three offers for the Brazilian in the previous transfer window, and denied a transfer requested from Coutinho himself, but after months of wrangling Barcelona finally got their man when the January window opened.
Ultimately, Klopp said, he realised he simply could not keep Coutinho at Liverpool against his will, and that he had to allow the 25-year-old to follow his heart.
“There was no other option,” Klopp said.
“If there is somebody maybe who should be angry, massively disappointed, in this case, then it could be the manager of the club the player is leaving.
“But I am not [angry], because I know we tried absolutely everything to convince Phil to stay here and carry on going together with us.
“It was his dream [to move to Barca] and it is the truth when I say he left Liverpool for only one club and we really had to accept that.
“The club was fighting until the last second and tried everything.
“It would have been very difficult if we had said, which we could have done, ‘look, here is your contract and you have to stay here’, and to use him in the second half of the season.”
Klopp said that Liverpool could enter the market to try and find a replacement for Coutinho, but said they wouldn’t make any “crazy” moves as he did not think it was necessary.
“We don’t have to replace him,” said Klopp. “What we have to do is we have to step up. We played fantastic football without Phil.
“I don’t want to sound disrespectful because I really liked him but we only have to carry on. We had fantastic games with him and not that good games with him.
“We have open eyes through this transfer window but we will not make crazy things.
“We want ‘right’ before ‘expensive’.”