Friday 19 October 2018

Philippe Coutinho happy at Liverpool after summer of discontent

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho insists he is happy with life despite his failure to force a move to Barcelona in the summer
Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho insists he is happy with life despite his failure to force a move to Barcelona in the summer

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho insists he is happy with life despite his failure to force a move to Barcelona in the summer.

The 25-year-old handed in a transfer request in August after the Catalan club had a bid for him rejected, but the Reds paid no attention to his demands and turned down a further two offers with owners Fenway Sports Group publicly stating he was not for sale.

Coutinho has subsequently been successfully reintegrated into the team, having missed the start of the season with a back problem, and despite sitting out the last three matches with an adductor injury he is set to feature in Tuesday's friendly against England.

"I'm playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm always happy. But now it's important to concentrate on the national team. At the moment I am very happy with my life.

"Every day, I work harder than before to improve myself and become a better all-around footballer."

Liverpool will also be boosted by the news Coutinho has declared himself fully fit again.

"Unfortunately, I could not play for Liverpool in the past three games because of injury," he added.

"Now I feel 100 per cent fit, I have recovered and I am in a good shape to be available for the game against England.

"I never want to miss any Brazil games. I am honoured to wear this shirt whenever I can."

Senegal forward Sadio Mane will return home early from international duty after reporting a minor issue with the hamstring injury from which he has just recovered.

The 25-year-old played in Friday's win over South Africa which secured World Cup qualification and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp had expressed his hope once passage to Russia had been achieved Mane, who travelled to Polokwane with a member of Liverpool's physiotherapy department to oversee his recovery, would be released early.

It appears the German's wish has been granted with the pacy winger now expected back at Melwood.

"Following the match, South Africa against Senegal Friday, November 10, 2017 in Polokwane, the player Sadio Mane slightly felt his old injury," said a statement from the Senegal Football Federation.

"After consultations between the medical staff of the national team of Senegal and Liverpool it was decided by mutual agreement to make him available to his club to continue treatment until full recovery."

Mane only returned from the hamstring injury, sustained on international duty last month, which sidelined him for five matches including the Premier League win over West Ham on November 4, immediately before joining up with his national team.

Press Association

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