Jurgen Klopp says nothing has changed as far as he is aware with regards to Philippe Coutinho‘s future, despite reports in Spain claiming a move is “close”.
Coutinho has been endlessly linked to Barcelona in this transfer window, with the 25-year-old handing in a transfer request last week.
Owners FSG released a statement saying that the Brazilian is absolutely not for sale, however, with Liverpool desperate to keep hold of their most prized asset.
It was inevitable that Klopp would be asked about Coutinho in his pre-Crystal Palace press conference on Thursday, but he had nothing new to say on the matter.
“Phil not available, not in training so far, so nothing new,” Klopp said, referring to the back problem that hasn’t sounded particularly convincing in the last three weeks.
Asked if it’s still a back problem, Klopp said: “I think so, nobody told me any different.”
Asked about Barcelona’s claim that a deal for Coutinho is “close”, Klopp said:
“There is nothing to say from my side. I don’t know why other people are saying what they are saying.”
Asked specifically if talks are going on between the two clubs, Klopp said: “I’m not sure. The club have already said what they have to say, so no news.”
Regarding reports in Spain that the player may go on strike, Klopp said: “I have nothing to say about his attitude, since he has a back problem he is not in training. The medical department have no complaints – nothing bad to say about this.”
This is sure to rumble on over the next fortnight until deadline day, but it is very clear that Klopp is growing tired of questions about the situation.
The main hope is that he stays and eventually knuckles down, but with him unavailable for the time being, Klopp has no reason to give him any attention.
Saturday’s visit of Palace will be at the forefront of the manager’s thoughts, as Liverpool look to open their 2017/18 Anfield account with a win.