Tuesday 24 October 2017

Klopp steps up effort to keep Coutinho at Liverpool

 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Getty Images
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Critchley

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists that Philippe Coutinho and his Anfield team-mates have no real reason to leave Anfield this summer, such is the current 'positive' trajectory of the club.

Amid continued speculation linking the 25-year-old with a move to Barcelona - despite Liverpool's insistence that he is not for sale - the German has outlined his belief that Anfield remains an attractive option for players of his calibre.

Barcelona have made the Brazilian their top target to replace Neymar, who was sold to PSG earlier this month for a record-breaking £200m (€220m), but have so far seen their two bids rebuffed.

Coutinho, himself, has expressed a desire to leave Merseyside, having handed in a transfer request via email last week, but Liverpool are standing firm in their refusal to sell the playmaker.

With two weeks to go until the close of the transfer window, Klopp has once again sought to downplay Coutinho's links to Barcelona, insisting he is 'not interested in their problems', while praising the "positive project" currently in place at Liverpool.

Problems

"Can you imagine for a minute I am not a little bit interested about the problems or not of Barcelona?" he said. "You can imagine, in general, I think for each player Liverpool is a very good club, a very good team in the moment. We have a good age of the group. We have very young boys, experience - it's a good mix and we are on our way.

"We got of rid of the expectations of 20 years ago and created our own expectations for all the people. I am fine with the situation and I am very positive about the project of Liverpool. I don't see a lot of reasons for each player to leave the club at the moment."

Coutinho currently remains unavailable for selection after picking up a back injury in Liverpool's pre-season campaign and is set to be sidelined for tomorrow's home fixture against Crystal Palace.

Klopp admitted that his absence, whether through injury or transfer, is a loss for the side but insisted Liverpool were capable of adapting without their star player.

"Every team in the world would miss a creative player in whichever position of his quality," he said.

Independent News Service

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