Chelsea tried to sign Philippe Coutinho, Brendan Rodgers has revealed, when he was just 14.
Rodgers, now Leicester ‘s boss, joined the Blues coaching setup under Jose Mourinho in 2004, working as a youth coach and then as boss of reserves.
When the Northern Irishman took over the reins at Liverpool, he wanted to stick to one of his old goals, taking Coutinho to Anfield in 2013.
Coutinho flourished at Liverpool in five and a half seasons, scoring 54 goals in all competitions in 201 games before his controversial transfer to Barcelona halfway through 2017-18.
Now Coutinho is being linked to a return to the Premier League after three disappointing seasons between Barca and Bayern Munich. Rodgers and Leicester, like Manchester United, Tottenham, and Chelsea among others, have been credited with an interest.
Rodgers claims that once he comes to England, Coutinho would remind people why Barca has made him their most expensive signing ever. “Most people will look at him and think that he’s not for the Premier League but what a talent. He intimidates people with his appearance when he’s getting the ball. It’s really sad to see, at the moment I hear people talk to him down. This boy is top and will show that if he comes to this league. He is the elite of the world,” he said.
Coutinho ‘s lawyer, Kia Joorabchian, said in mid-May that there had been no negotiations with any other clubs and that he was concentrating on recovering from his latest surgery with ankles.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of Bayern, has since confirmed that the leaders of the Bundesliga had not activated their purchase option and that the clause to buy him has now expired.