The Southampton legend recalled how the Saints wanted Coutinho when the Brazil international attacking midfielder was at Inter Milan.
However, the 27-year-old – who can also operate as a winger and is now on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona – ended up at Liverpool instead.
Le Tissier said on The Football Show on Sky Sports Football (9:09am, June 2, 2020) while discussing the future of Coutinho: “It’s a player 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.”
2013 transfer speculation
According to a report published in The Guardian on January 25, 2013, Inter accepted an offer of £10.2 million from Southampton for Coutinho.
However, according to the report, Coutinho told Inter that he did not want to move to the Saints.
As subsequently reported by BBC Sport, the Reds completed the signing of the Brazilian later that month for a transfer fee of £8.5 million.
Coutinho, who left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2018, has been linked with a return to the Premier League in the summer transfer window.