REUTERS - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes playmaker Philippe Coutinho is still a key part of the squad and can perform well, the German boss said following the 25-year-old’s failed bid to move to Barcelona.
Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele were Barcelona’s key transfer targets after forward Neymar joined Paris St Germain. While the Spanish club signed Dembele, Liverpool rejected all bids for Coutinho, saying he was not for sale.
On Saturday, Liverpool sources dismissed claims made by Barcelona director Albert Soler, who said the Premier League side were demanding 200 million euros ($237.14 million) for Coutinho.
“We have our situation and Dortmund (with Dembele) has another,” Klopp is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
“Don’t believe everything in the press or that there are offers here and there and that the minute after the offer has been entered, it should already be over.
“We have exactly the situation we wanted and no other.”
Brazil international Coutinho will return to Anfield after his nation’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday.
“Dortmund decided the player (Dembele) would leave them, so I cannot compare the two situations,” Klopp said.
“We still have a really good player in the squad who can play.”
Coutinho is yet to feature for Liverpool this campaign due to a back injury but is likely to return during the team’s trip to Manchester City in the Premier League on Sept. 9.
($1 = 0.8434 euros)
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar