Saturday 24 August 2019

Jurgen Klopp addresses the growing rumours that Philippe Coutinho could make a return to Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho, pictured right, with Jurgen Klopp
Philippe Coutinho, pictured right, with Jurgen Klopp
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Philippe Coutinho has been persistently linked with a switch to Liverpool in recent weeks, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp appears to have ended any prospect of the Brazilian midfielder making a return to Anfield.

Coutinho forced through a move from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018, but his move to the Nou Camp has turned sour and he appears to be surplus to requirements in a summer that has seen Antoine Griezmann move to the club and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar emerge a top transfer target.

While Coutinho's agent has claimed he would only want to play for Liverpool if he returned to England, Klopp told ESPN that he has no plans to re-sign a player his club sold for £142m.

"In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still, 100% but it's not about that," Klopp stated.

"I like Phil, I think he's a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it's not our year for that.

"It's just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better, us included, but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona.

"Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that.

"If everything was true what newspapers write about me, wow! If it's similar to what they write about me, I would say he's completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever."

Klopp went on to rule out any Liverpool bid to sign Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, despite wild reports in Spain suggesting the Welshman has emerged as a transfer target for the European champions.

"Bale is a Real Madrid player and if he leaves it will be outstandingly expensive and big wages," added Klopp.

"He is an outstanding player, I like him a lot but it is not about him. You have to create a team. A team is not a collection of the best individual players, they have to work together.

"Liverpool is a long-term project. The team is really good. Will there be difficult situations? Probably. There would be if we bring in a new player, or two or three. I didn't say we won't do anything, it is going to be a big window for sure but people don't think about the people who are already in.

"Sometimes you have to calm the situation down, pay your bills, have a normal life and live in the house before you build a new one."

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