Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out of Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Watford with a back injury.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the Brazil international has not trained for the past week and is unlikely either to face Marco Silva’s side or Hoffenheim in the first leg of the Champions League play-off tie on Tuesday.
“He has back problems and has not been training since last Friday. He’s not available and is also a doubt for Tuesday,” Klopp told a news conference.”
The news comes after Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group issued a statement insisting that they will not entertain any offers for Coutinho during the transfer window.
The former Inter star has been heavily linked with Barcelona and is reported to have been the subject of a bid in the region of £100million from the Catalans, which was rejected.
Klopp has always maintained that Coutinho would not be sold but he hopes that FSG’s public stance will draw a line under the issue.
“I don’t think I ever told you anything about what I spoke about with the players, did I? I turned 50 in the summer and I forget things,” he said.
“I think I’ve said it already a few times but maybe it’s not 100 per cent clear. Now you can read it. That’s the way it will go.”
Klopp also dismissed the notion that it is his responsibility to keep Coutinho happy at Anfield.
“I can’t keep players happy. I can’t keep you happy. That’s how life is. It’s just that Phil is not available for us and for me that’s the bigger issue. The rest is between me and all the boys.”
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