English Premier League, Leagues, Liverpool, Philippe Coutinho, Story, Transfers

Jurgen Klopp offers little to update Liverpool’s saga with Coutinho, but says the midfielder has kept a positive attitude.
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson refused to expand on speculation linking Philippe Coutinho with a move to Barcelona.
Jurgen Klopp reflects on Mohamed Salah’s debut for Liverpool and provides the latest regarding Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has asked why any player would want to leave amid continuing speculation that playmaker Philippe Coutinho will join Barcelona.

The Merseysiders are adamant that Coutinho will stay despite submitting a transfer request following two rejected bids from Barca.

But Klopp said: “I don’t see a lot of reasons for each player to leave the club at the moment, and that’s just in general.

“Can you imagine for a minute I am not a little bit interested about the problems or not of Barcelona?

“I will never talk about something I spoke about with a player. But you can imagine, in general, I think for each player Liverpool is a very good club, a very good team at 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.

“I think we got rid of the expectations of 20 years ago and created our own expectations for all the people. They expect a lot from us because of what we did last season.”

Klopp, who said he was “very positive about the project of Liverpool,” has ruled Coutinho out of Saturday’s home match against Crystal Palace with a back injury.

The Brazil interntional has missed the first two matches of the season after he informed the club of his desire to leave on the eve of the campaign.

Liverpool have rejected two bids from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho.

“Having Phil not available was never cool for us, but it happened,” Klopp added.

“Every team in the world would miss a creative player, in whichever position, of his quality. That’s not too cool but I am already used to it. You cannot find exactly the same solution. That’s how football works.”

Meanwhile, former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran has told the Independent he believes Coutinho would be a “perfect fit” for Barcelona.

Ayestaran, who was assistant to Rafael Benitez at Anfield, said: “Barca simply need a player like Coutinho, both tactically and for his quality.

“Coutinho ticks all the boxes, especially those penetrating passes. Liverpool’s game last year was all about attackers alternating positions so much, and it was often down to Coutinho to choose the right tempo of the play.

“Given what Liverpool have already rejected, they seem intent on keeping him. The question is whether Barca can offer enough to prise him away, to make it basic business sense for Liverpool to accept.”

Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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