​Barcelona's new £142m star Philippe Coutinho has claimed he worked 'even harder' for the Liverpool fans in the first half of the 2017/18 season, after failing to complete his dream move to Catalonia in the summer.

Liverpool flat out rejected three bids from Barcelona for their playmaker last summer, despite Coutinho submitting a transfer request, while the club's owners put out a statement insisting the Brazilian was not for sale at any price.


After months of continued speculation and no let up in Barça's interest, Coutinho finally made the big-money move in January. However, during the five months with Liverpool in 2017/18 prior to his switch, he scored 12 times in all competitions and registered eight assists.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, he claimed that he had to put in extra effort on the pitch convince the fans he wasn't downing tools: "In the summer, when the offer arrived from Barca, I was very clear with everyone because my ambition was to come here.

"In the end, it didn't go through and I had to work even harder when I got on the pitch so that the [Liverpool] fans didn't think I was doing things badly.


"It was tough, but I also have to say that I had some good moments at Liverpool and the fans treated me really well, even though I wasn't able to win any trophies there." 

Coutinho scored his first goal for his new club in the Copa Del Rey semi final win over Valencia, thanks to an assist from former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez. 

​Speaking to Sport, Coutinho claimed the two have a relationship that continues off the field, thanks to their shared time at Anfield.

"We were at Liverpool together and when I signed for them he helped me a lot. Other players, too, above all those that spoke Spanish and Portuguese - they're similar languages," he said. "We were always together and a great friendship came from that."