Reds legend criticises Liverpool for costly £120 million error

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson looks on as prepares for the start of the npower Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on May 7, 2011 in London, England.

Liverpool refused to sell Philippe Coutinho in the summer.

Football pundit Mark Lawrenson looks on before the npower Championship game between Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers at Cardiff City Stadium on April 23, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

During an exclusive interview with AskFans, Reds legend Mark Lawrenson criticised his former club's decision not to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in the summer, claiming that he would have sanctioned the Brazilian's exit without question.

The Catalan giants were desperate to land the 25-year-old playmaker during the summer transfer window, but Liverpool were resolute in their desire to hang on to arguably their most important player, rejecting three bids from the Spanish side in the process.

Liverpool FC midfielder Philippe Coutinho (L) competes for the ball with Leicester City FC defender Danny Simpson during the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Liverpool FC and...

There has been talk of Barca returning for Coutinho in January, as Ernesto Valverde looks to continue his rebuild at the Camp Nou following the sale of Neymar two months ago.

And whilst the prospect of that happening will fill many Reds fans with dread, Lawrenson believes that his former club should have got rid of the Brazil international when Barcelona came in for him first time around, when speaking exclusively to AskFans:

"I would have sold him in the summer. I just think if you are getting £120 million for a footballer - you take it because he could fall over tomorrow. I 100% would have sold him. I think FSG thought that it was too late in terms of trying to get someone else in and of course prices have gone mad. Maybe if they had been offered that money in June, they could have said 'give us two weeks, keep it quiet’ and we'll sell him to you. They could then have got two or three players to replace him. I think he'll go possibly in January."

Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on September 23,...

Coutinho has been back to his brilliant best in recent weeks, and has already chalked up two goals and an assist in three Premier League outings so far this season for Liverpool, and Jürgen Klopp will be hoping that his star man can produce the goods tomorrow when they welcome Manchester United to Anfield.

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