• Coutinho is staying at Liverpool – Klopp

    Liverpool's Phil Coutinho

    Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has long been touted as a possible Barcelona target, but a reported €80-million bid does not sway Jurgen Klopp.

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is adamant Philippe Coutinho is not for sale, after Barcelona reportedly launched an €80-million bid for the Brazil midfielder.

    The Premier League club are understood to have rejected Barca’s pitch for the 25-year-old, who has been seemingly earmarked as a potential long-term successor to the great Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou.

    Coutinho committed his future to Liverpool by penning a five-year contract this year, and speaking at a news conference ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy final against Leicester City in Hong Kong, Klopp was reluctant to entertain the prospect of one of his key men departing less than a month before the 2017-18 season kicks off.

    “I have nothing to say about this,” he said. “Yes [Coutinho is not for sale]. He’s still young and can still improve a lot.

    “I’m not surprised that any club is interested in players at Liverpool. We are not a selling club.

    “We want to make the next step together and for that we need to stay together.”

    Coutinho’s main creative ally in Klopp’s Liverpool line-up, England international Adam Lallana, believes his teammate is happy on Merseyside – even if he does possess the quality to shine on Barcelona’s grand stage.

    “He’s a fantastic player,” Lallana said. “It’s not a surprise that teams are interested in him. He’s definitely happy here.

    “Philippe is in that elite bracket. There’s no reason why he can’t achieve huge things here at Liverpool.”

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