LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Philippe Coutinho Correia during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match against FC Augsburg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp confident of keeping Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool for long term

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have a great chance of retaining the services of Philippe Coutinho, despite interest from Barcelona.

The La Liga giants have been heavily linked with the Reds’ No. 10 in recent weeks, with Coutinho believed to be a priority target for manager Luis Enrique in the future.

Coutinho has been in exceptional form for club and country this season, and despite his current contract running until 2020, there have been widespread calls for Liverpool to begin talks over an improved deal.

But speaking ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Southampton on Thursday afternoon, Klopp insisted creating the right “atmosphere” within the club was more important in keeping Coutinho.

“The very, very good players you want to keep long term. It’s about creating the perspective so nobody wants to leave,” he said.

“In the end it won’t be money. If there’s a club who can pay double what we can pay, then I can bring the player there: ‘Think about your family, your kids, their kids’.

“But I don’t know many clubs who can do this.

“But before we talk about money we have to create an atmosphere round the club where nobody wants to leave.

“I’m not worried about anything. The players like to be here, it’s our job to make sure it stays like this.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 14, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates the 4-3 victory over Arsenal with Philippe Coutinho Correia after the FA Premier League match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When asked about Coutinho’s development, and how he looks to be reaching his potential at the age of 24, Klopp stressed that he felt Liverpool was the right club for him to continue this.

“My opinion is that he sits really well here. We all hope and think that his future is here at Liverpool.

“What everybody forgets when you think about Phil is that he’s still very young.

“You say now he’s the player you’ve dreamt of, [but] at 24, he’s still young and has a long way to go, a lot of space for improvement.

“But of course, he’s now at the age where the skills he has, mixed with the experience he gained in the past, give him more consistency.

“He’s started, he’s not finished. So that’s all good.”

Coutinho has been encouraged to remain on Merseyside by Barcelona legend Xavi, and with Liverpool heading in the right direction under Klopp, that atmosphere may not be far off.

If the Reds can enjoy success throughout Klopp’s reign, there is no major reason for Coutinho to leave.

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