Joey Barton sparks huge debate with his take on Philippe Coutinho's Barca move 1 year ago

Joey Barton sparks huge debate with his take on Philippe Coutinho's Barca move

Joey Barton has praised Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona as good business... for Liverpool.

Barton insists that the £142 million which the Merseyside club will receive for Coutinho is far more than they could have ever imagined.

The Reds will reportedly get £105 million up front, with the rest payable based on the Brazilian midfielder's performances for the La Liga outfit.

Barton took to Twitter on Saturday night to deliver his verdict on the deal and he sparked huge debate by suggesting that Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard would all warrant even greater fees than Coutinho should a club come calling.

Some of Barton's followers wholly disagreed with the outspoken pundit's assertion that Kane and Hazard possessed more ability than Coutinho.

While the debate raged on in his replies, Barton doubled down on his opinion and even published a poll, which finished much closer than the former QPR, Burnley and Rangers midfielder anticipated.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp released a statement on Coutinho's move in which he insisted that he did everything in his power to persuade the 25-year-old to stay at Anfield but the player's heart was set on a switch to Ernesto Valverde's side.

"It is with great reluctance that we – as a team and club – prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho," Klopp said.

"It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known.

"Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen.

"Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.

"I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind."