(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said he has no problems with Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho and is ready to welcome the Brazilian back into the squad after he recovers from illness and injury.
Liverpool have rejected three bids from the Spanish side, including the latest last week which British media said came in at 125 million euros ($146.85 million).
Klopp has maintained he does not want to sell Coutinho, who missed Liverpool’s first three matches of the season due to a back injury. The attacking midfielder will also miss Wednesday’s Champions League play-off second leg against Hoffenheim.
“You asked is everything okay between us? I answered with of course. Yes, indeed, absolutely, 100 percent,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday, adding that there was no concrete date for the 25-year-old’s return.
“Phil can’t start tomorrow because on top (of the back problem) he’s now ill. If he started training again tomorrow it would take time because he hasn’t trained for a long time.”
Liverpool hold a 2-1 advantage over Hoffenheim from the first leg in Germany and Klopp said his side would look to capitalise on home advantage to seal a spot in the Champions League group stage.
“Anfield is a main factor, we all know it, it’s a very special place. Nothing happens by itself - we have to perform, we have to deliver - but then we all know the atmosphere can and will help you,” he said.
”I really hope that everybody is ready for this game, everybody is ready to fight. I would be concerned if the people thought it was a weak side coming from Hoffenheim...
After the Champions League game, Liverpool host Arsenal in the league on Sunday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford