Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is “not for sale” amid reports Barcelona are targeting the Brazil international.
Coutinho is thought to be high on Barca’s wishlist should Paris Saint-Germain prise Neymar from Camp Nou by triggering the player’s release clause.
The Catalans have identified Coutinho as a like-for-like replacement but Klopp is not willing to countenance the departure of a player bought by Liverpool from Inter Milan in January 2013.
Speaking ahead of the Audi Cup, which also features hosts Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Napoli, Klopp said: “He is not available to be sold. The word is NOT. There is nothing to interpret.”
Asked on Liverpool’s hopes for the forthcoming season, the German added: “We will be playing for the championship. That’s what we did last season, we were fourth, and you don’t start a season without any ambitions.
“We have a very good team, we had a bit of bad luck last season and I think we can play a little bit better.
“Let’s hope that everything will work very well. We have to work very hard and we’re doing that and it’s very important to see what we can achieve tomorrow, against Bayern.
“They are an absolutely top team, it doesn’t matter which team they play. In my experience they’re always a tough team to play and I’m excited to see what team he [Ancelotti] will have.”
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