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Rodgers reveals Chelsea talks to sign a young Philippe Coutinho
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Chelsea tried to sign Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho when he was 14 years of age.
Rodgers was involved with Chelsea early on in his managerial career, taking charge of the Blues’ Under-18s side in 2004.
The Northern Irishman was then promoted to reserves team coach in the summer of 2006 and stayed at Stamford Bridge until 2008.
Rodgers signed Coutinho for Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013 but the manager has revealed that the Brazilian could have arrived in England a significant time earlier.
“When I was looking at the [Chelsea] team in the first six months, there were certain ingredients we were missing,” Rodgers told The Beautiful Game Podcast.
“Philippe was one I knew from my Chelsea days because we tried to get him to Chelsea when he was 14 but he had already committed to Inter Milan.
“We talked about him during the summer and kept tabs on him then all of a sudden he became available and at 19 I thought: Wow, right, let’s get this boy in.”
Coutinho, an £8.5million signing for Liverpool, made an instant impression at Anfield and became one of the club’s best players under both Rodgers and current Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
However, he split opinion among Liverpool fans after it emerged that his heart was set on a move to Barcelona, which he secured in January 2018.
The 27-year-old has spent a season-and-a-half at Barca but was unable to recreate his form and was shipped off to Bayern Munich on loan for the current campaign.
In other news, Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed how his stance on leaving Stamford Bridge changed after discussions with Frank Lampard.
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