Liverpool blocked Coutinho’s dream move to the Nou Camp in the summer and the Brazil star knuckled down to play well in his last three months at Anfield.
But Klopp admits he did not want to gamble on Coutinho remaining fully focussed if Liverpool had denied him again this month and reluctantly sanctioned his £145million sale.
“I knew it would come up again in this transfer window and it could have been very difficult if we had done what we could have done -‘there’s your contract and you have to stay here’ – and to use him as a player in the second half of the season,” said the Reds boss.
“That was a decision I have to make, does it make sense, do I think I can still use him, can he help us still? And to be honest, it was 100 per cent clear, no chance.
“He was not ready to do that anymore. He did fantastic in the first part of the season after the things we had to deal with in the summer. He did fantastic and the team did fantastic.
“That’s over now, we cannot do that anymore, so we made that decision.
“So we have to carry on. That’s the situation, we are already used to it. It was pretty much a week ago.”