Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coutinho saga far from Klopp´s primary focus

SoccerNews in La Liga 12 Aug 2017

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Jurgen Klopp insists he will not become distracted by the transfer saga surrounding Philippe Coutinho, but suggested that the Liverpool star’s future could be out of his hands.

Coutinho is believed to have handed in a transfer request on Friday, just hours after Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group released a statement in which they insisted they would not entertain offers for the Brazil star.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for the 25-year-old and are claimed to have had an offer totalling more than €100million rejected by the Premier League club.

Coutinho missed Liverpool’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Watford on Saturday with a back injury and Klopp stressed afterwards that his focus is on the players at his disposal, although he hinted he might not have final say on the former Inter man’s future.

“I cannot say a lot about it,” he told Sky Sports. “I am responsible for the whole team, all these players and I need to focus on the players who are available. I have no influence on the players who aren’t available.

“I have to accept decisions from owners, that’s how it is, and sometimes from players, but for this moment I just have to concentrate on my team.”

Liverpool conceded an injury-time header from Miguel Britos to surrender the lead at Vicarage Road, although Klopp was angry that the goal was allowed to stand due to the Watford defender having scored from an offside position.

However, Hornets boss Marco Silva felt his players deserved a point from a match in which they twice lost a one-goal lead.

“I think it’s a fair result. We had a very good first half, a good intensity like I wanted,” he told BBC Sport.

“I didn’t like the first 25 minutes of the second half. We expected a good reaction from Liverpool but we needed to be better. We made mistakes. But we reacted well.

“Our fans pushed our players on. We had some small injuries. We need to show this attitude and commitment in all our games.”

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