Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Real Madrid Turned Down The Chance To Sign Coutinho In 2008

Real Madrid remarkably turned down the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho for just €2.5m (N108m), it has been revealed.
According to Miguel Angel Portugal – the current manager of Indian club Delhi Dynamos and former technical director of Real Madrid – Los Blancos were heavily interested in the then-unknown Brazilian, way back in 2008.

Portugal made the extraordinary revelation in his blog, via Marca where he explained how the Spanish club spent a long time scouting Coutinho, who was playing for Portuguese club Vasco da Gama at the time.
He said: “Coutinho had already marvelled with Vasco de Gama and was a name who had been mentioned at the club. 

“All of the reports about him were favourable and looked promising to sign him and the decision was made to bring him to Real Madrid.

"I personally went to Rio de Janeiro to watch Coutinho train and play, to talk with his parents and, of course, hold a meeting about joining our club. 

"Everything was going well and everything was perfect and it seemed that things were going to work out for everyone, but when I returned from Brazil I found a surprise waiting for me.

"The president told me that we had signed Alipio, a 16-year-old who they had watched with Rio Ave and who the scouts found to be a very interesting player.

"For essentially the same price that Real paid for Alipio [€2.5m], they could have signed his compatriot instead. It is incredible but true."
Inter Milan snapped up Coutinho before selling him to Liverpool for €10m (N4bn) five years later.

Alipio, meanwhile, was let go by Real Madrid after just two years having never made a first team appearance.

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