Friday, June 23, 2017

Klopp wards off Barcelona interest in Coutinho

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 Nov 2016

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions Philippe Coutinho could leave Anfield amid speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The 24-year-old has developed into Liverpool’s undisputed star player since joining the club from Inter in January 2013 and his good performances have not gone unnoticed elsewhere.

Barcelona are believed to be keeping a close eye on his development and former Camp Nou captain Xavi kick-started the Catalans’ possible public courtship of Coutinho by saying he is one of few players in world football that could improve Luis Enrique’s side.

However, Klopp believes Coutinho is happy to play his part in the Reds’ livewire line-up and hopes he will remain committed to Anfield.

“My opinion is that he feels very well here. We also hope and think his future is at Liverpool,” Klopp said at a media conference.

“He is still very young. You say now he is the player you have dreamed of, but he is now at an age where the skills and experience give more consistency. 

“With the team-mates he is getting better. It has only just started, it is not finished. 

“Very good players you always want to keep long-term. It is about creating a perspective where nobody wants to leave. 

“It is about us, it is about the club. The owners are not a problem so it is about creating the perspective that nobody wants to leave.

“If a club can pay double what we pay who am I to say to the player not to think of their kids or grandkids, but there are not a lot of clubs who can do this. I am not worried about anything. The players like to be here. It is our job to keep it like this.”

Coutinho has a contract with Liverpool until June 2020.

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