Inter Milan Sporting Director Admits He Regrets Selling Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool in 2013

Inter Milan’s sporting director Piero Ausilio has revealed that he regrets selling Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool for just £8.5m in 2013.

The Brazilian starlet was just 21-years-old at the time of his move to Liverpool, a switch that came to light after former boss Rafa Benitez confessed his admiration for the youngster.

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Liverpool’s former director of football Damien Comolli spoke to ​ESPN about the deal, claiming that he was signed as a replacement for Dirk Kuyt.

“In the spring of 2012, the owners told me that we had a limited spending budget per player of €10m and we could only sign players who were under 21,” Comolli told ESPN.

“I said to the scout: ‘Coutinho becomes our priority’ because we were looking for a wide player to replace Dirk Kuyt. He [Coutinho] was not available because they transferred him to Espanyol [on loan] later on.


“We didn’t even know he was that good — it was difficult to watch him play because he was never playing at Inter. We knew about him, we knew he was good, but it was only when Rafa said he’s going to be world-class. When somebody like Rafa says a thing about a player like this, you listen.

“The head of recruitment said he was the best we could get. But I was sacked, then Kenny [Dalglish] was sacked.”


At Inter, meanwhile, the deal is looked back on with regret more than anything else, with Ausilio claiming that it is ‘one of the biggest regrets in 20 years at Inter’.

“It was a great regret for me to have to sell him — perhaps one of my greatest regrets in over 20 years at Inter,” Ausilio told ESPN FC.

“I have splendid memories of Coutinho, both as a footballer and of the lad himself. When he got here, it struck us how outstanding he was immediately — he was serious and wanted to work and you could see that he had all that was needed to go on and do what he has done so far.”

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