LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 28, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia is embraced by manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted immediately after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp explains Philippe Coutinho’s departure and plans to invest and “react in the right way”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted to – and perhaps attempted to explain – Philippe Coutinho‘s departure from the club.

The German boss describes Coutinho as “a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player” in a statement on the official website.

Klopp sought to explain how the club attempted to keep the Brazilian at the club, but the player was insistent on moving to the Nou Camp.

“Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen,” explained Klopp.

“Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.

“I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona.

“It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.”

Coutinho joined the Reds five years ago this month, from Inter Milan, and has made 201 appearances, scoring 54 goals.

“Philippe has made a fantastic contribution to this club over his five years of service and as disappointed as we are he doesn’t want to extend that, the relationship we have for him means with a heavy heart we wish him well.”

Coutinho was sidelined with a reported back injury in the final weeks of the summer transfer window and handed in a transfer request on the eve of the Reds’ opening league fixture, and then missed the two games in January due to another suspicious injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp though insists the player was dedicated and committed to the club:

“The player remained dedicated and committed to helping us win matches, producing good performances and training hard each day at Melwood after the summer window had closed, despite failing to convince us to allow him to leave during that period and that level of professionalism reflects positively on him.

“Of course, it is totally understandable that supporters will be disappointed; this is always the case when you have to say goodbye to someone special. But, as hard as it is sometimes to accept, it is part of life and part of football – individuals have their own dreams and their own goals and objectives in life.

“Players will come and players will go, that is football, but as a club we are big enough and strong enough to continue with our aggressive progression on the pitch, even when we lose an important player.

Attention will now turn to how Klopp and Liverpool replace one of the Premier League‘s most talented players, with the manager saying:

“We have never been in a better position in recent times, as a club, to react in the right way. We will use our size and strength to absorb moments like this and still move forward.

“I have been here long enough now to know in the history of Liverpool, key players have left before – but the club always goes on. You cannot transfer the heart and soul of Liverpool Football Club, although I am sure there are many clubs who would like to buy it.

“I have so much belief in the talent we have here already and even more faith, together with our owners, that we will make continued investment into the playing squad, which will allow more growth and more improvement.

“So as we bid farewell to Philippe, we continue on our path of progress and development as we work towards our common goal of bringing trophies back to Anfield.”

The decision to sell Coutinho mid-season will lead to criticism of Liverpool’s owners, FSG, but it appears to be Klopp who has granted the move and has faith in signing replacements.

Thomas Lemar is the number one target for the club, with Riyad Mahrez also linked.

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