Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Philippe Coutinho is “fine” at Barcelona and has no desire to re-sign his former talisman.
Coutinho, 26, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation in recent weeks with Manchester United linked with a move for the diminutive playmaker.
What has happened to Coutinho at Barcelona? Five key things to know…
- Barcelona signed Coutinho for £142m from Liverpool in January 2018.
- The Brazilian won La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his maiden campaign but has fallen down the pecking order since.
- Coutinho has struggled to hold down a starting berth under Ernesto Valverde this season.
- With 4-3-3 Valverde’s preferred system, there seems to be little room for Coutinho, who is a No.10 by trade.
- He has started out wide in Barcelona’s previous two matches but there remains doubts about his future in Catalonia.
Klopp waved goodbye to Coutinho a year ago but has rejected rumours of a reunion with the Barca man, believing he is doing just “fine” at the Camp Nou.
When quizzed on the speculation of unrest at Barcelona, Klopp told reporters (via Manchester Evening News) he had “nothing to say” on the matter.
“Whatever I say would open more stories and there is no story. Phil is at Barcelona and as I know he fits really well and everything is fine.”
The German was also quick to refute claims his side are exploring the possibility of bringing Coutinho back to Merseyside.
He added: “That is something I don’t want to talk about. I would not say it is a potential transfer or a likely one.”
Valverde wants to keep Coutinho
Coutinho has featured in Barcelona’s last two starting line-ups, but prior to that, he had taken his place on the bench for the previous four, which ignited rumours of a possible departure.
However, speaking last week Valverde poured cold water on speculation linking Coutinho with a move away from Camp Nou, stating his desire for the Brazilian to keep performing at a high level for the club.
“He is a player who gave us a lot, who gives us a lot and who’ll have to give a lot,” the Spaniard said, as quoted by Marca.
“He played as there are other players who had to rest in this week with three matches. He has incredible quality.”