Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he "really respected" Philippe Coutinho's desire to swap Liverpool for Barcelona.
The Reds reluctantly sanctioned the Brazil international's switch to Camp Nou in a £142m deal a little over two years ago.
Coutinho's move to Barca has not gone to plan, however, having been sent out on loan to Bayern Munich after just one full season in Catalonia.
Klopp has now explained that he felt Liverpool had little choice but to let the playmaker leave, despite the fact that he penned a new long-term deal 12 months prior.
"I really respected Phil's switch from the first second," he told the Pure Football Podcast. "Not that I do that all the time but it felt 'oh wow that could be difficult'.
"So it's not about yes we signed a new contract so many weeks before that, but it was really clear he would not have asked me for any other club but for this club, there was no chance.
"Then we had to be hard in the summer because we had no other solution. We lost Adam Lallana [to injury] in that time as well, we would have lost two players.
"That's not possible, you cannot solve that on the transfer market. [Coutinho] was open to [staying] and that was really cool.
"Then you have to be fair in the window and say we can do it. We don't like it but we can do it."
Coutinho could be on his way back to the Premier League this summer, with Chelsea reportedly interested in signing him on loan.