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Revealed: Why Liverpool were able to sign £8.5m man

Coutinho Liverpool

Former Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni has hinted that Inter allowed Philippe Coutinho to join Liverpool for financial reasons.

Coutinho was purchased by Inter as an immensely promising 16-year-old for €4 million in 2008, but would have to wait until his 18th birthday to officially move to San Siro.

After some flashes of brilliance in his first term in Milan in the 2010-11 campaign, the Brazilian struggled to find space in the Nerazzurri squad and was loaned to Espanyol in January 2012.

Returning to Inter five months later, Coutinho would find his prospects in northern Italy largely unchanged at the outset of the next season.

Coach Andrea Stramaccioni granted the young playmaker just three Serie A starts, which proved to be his last as Liverpool snapped him up for £8.5 million in the January transfer window.

And from there Coutinho has been a revelation under Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, in stark contrast to his frustrating time with the Nerazzurri.

Despite not having lived up to his potential, the Brazilian’s sale was widely unpopular with Inter supporters - who saw the club as giving up on a future star too soon.

Coutinho’s success with Liverpool has only reinforced this viewpoint in Italy, where journalists have portrayed his departure as a warning to Serie A clubs to be patient with youngsters.

But Stramaccioni - replaced by Walter Mazzarri on the Inter bench last summer - has now come forward to say that Coutinho was allowed to leave for reasons beyond his performance.

He told Fox Sports: “I want to answer, because it seems that otherwise speech has been avoided.

“The truth is that sometimes some operations go beyond technical value and there are specific needs.”

Stramaccioni’s admission has been interpreted to mean that Inter sold Coutinho for financial reasons - the club’s economic clout not what it once was.

At any rate, Liverpool certainly won’t be hung up on Inter’s motivations for shipping the Brazilian to Merseyside for an £8.5 million fee that already looks a bargain.

Brendan Rodgers will be more focused on continuing the 21-year-old’s rapid development at Anfield as the Reds eye up a return to elite status in Europe.

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