Ex-Manchester United manager and legend of the game Sir Alex Ferguson has rather surprisingly had his say on the Philippe Coutinho situation. 

The last thing I read from Sir Alex Ferguson regarding a Liverpool player was his criticism of Jordan Henderson’s running style, so to see the ex-Manchester United manager side with Liverpool over Philippe Coutinho’s antics came as a slight shock this morning.

The Scot was sympathetic to Liverpool’s cause when asked to comment on the matter at a UEFA coaches’ forum in Switzerland, believing that if the window were to have closed before the start of the season proper, then this kind of situation would’ve been avoided.

“I think strong management is crucial in this situation,” he said.

“Part of your job as a coach also is to educate your players’ character so they have a responsibility to what they’re doing.

“Obviously, in some cases, that is changing a bit. It’s disappointing because I’m sure that, in the case of Liverpool, they did a very good job in making Coutinho the player he is today. So, it’s a bit disappointing but you have to deal with it and the transfer window doesn’t help in that situation.”

On the window, ‘Fergie’ added: “If it closed in July, Coutinho would have continued playing and it would have been gone. The matter would have been over.”

“The recommendation we look at is to close the window before the season starts, so everyone knows which players they’ve got and aren’t waiting to see what the first results are going to be.”

While the English window closes at 11pm tonight, the Spanish window will continue on for another 24 hours, meaning that the saga is likely to drag on for another 24 hours. As of this moment, however, Liverpool’s stance is yet to change and it remains to be seen how Coutinho and Barcelona react with time fast running out.

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