While Liverpool’s owners presided over the sales of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling, Jurgen Klopp insists it won’t be the same with Philippe Coutinho.
Suarez moved to Barcelona for £75 million in 2014, while a year later Sterling made the £49 million switch to Man City, with the Reds buckling under financial pressure.
This summer, the high-profile name touted with a move away from Merseyside is Coutinho, despite the Brazilian signing a new five-year contract in January.
Liverpool have already rejected a £72 million bid from Barcelona for their playmaker, with the Mirror claiming the Spanish side will return with an £80 million offer soon.
However, speaking to reporters on Saturday, Klopp stressed that Fenway Sports Group are backing him in his ‘not for sale’ stance.
“The problem with these things is that whatever I say it always leaves a little bit of speculation,” he said.
“If I say he is not for selling, he is not for selling. There is nothing else to say. It’s a club decision, it’s my decision. That’s how it is.
“That is so that we can end the speculation and not talk about anything else.
“With Suarez I was far away. When the club sold Sterling I was maybe the last to know about it. So those situations have nothing to do with this one.
“We are approaching a very important moment and we want to get better. For this we have to keep our key players. So that’s the answer.
“I can say 20 times, he is not for sale. If you ask the other question the other way and I say there has been no assurance, you make the story the other way. There is no story for me.
“Whatever happens from their side, I say he is not for sale. You can say whatever you want. The answer is ‘not for sale’.”
Coutinho scored the second goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City in the Premier League Asia Trophy, once again hammering home his importance to the Reds.
The Brazilian is likely to move into a deeper midfield role this season, following the arrival of Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s other goalscorer in Hong Kong this weekend, from AS Roma.
Klopp’s assertion that he needs to hold on to his best players in order to improve in 2017/18 is clear, as otherwise he would be faced with another rebuilding job.
Liverpool are preparing for a Champions League play-off clash in August, as they bid to return to Europe’s elite for the first time since 2014.
In order to ensure they take their place among the best teams on the continent, Coutinho must stay at Anfield, and Klopp must build around his No. 10.