Although he addressed the elephant in the room in an extremely non-committal way, following remarks from Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho regrading Barcelona’s ongoing interest in bringing him to the Nou Camp, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was forced to go on the offensive.
“I have no reasons to think about it. We never spoke about transfers in this moment,” said the German boss, speaking to the press ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside Derby. “There’s really nothing to say. I am completely in the situation. Nobody has come to me to say Phil will be away in January,” explained Klopp, sounding sick of this line of questioning already. “Whatever I could say would not stop your questions so I thought it makes sense not to answer it. I’m completely fine with the situation, how it is,” added the manager. “We had this big story in the summer. I have no desire to have it again from now until January. I will say nothing about that.”
Having rejected a number of big money bids for his services over a tumultuous summer that culminated in the 25-year old handing in a transfer request to try to force the move through, it seems only a matter of time before he links up with former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in Catalonia. While it remains unlikely that the club — who secured a spot in the knock-out stages of the Champions League — will let the Brazilian leave this winter, the clock is ticking.
Or, if their ambition is where they say it is, the club could force him to see out his contract — an agreement that contains no buy-out clause. Although there was a bit of regrettable sulking during the early days of the campaign, Coutinho has once again come to the forefront of the squad and re-established himself as a key player for the Reds. That, of course, has only ramped up interest in him further.
“We made one statement last year and the player is not for sale and that is the statement the ownership made,” said Reds CEO Peter Moore, speaking to Sky Sports. “I saw a player who was delighted to score a hat-trick for his club in front of 54,000 delighted fans on Wednesday night,” enthused the Anfield supremo. “As far as I am concerned, the squad we have right now is the squad we are going to go into January with. And I do not have a crystal ball, so I do not know what is going to happen,” conceded Moore, refusing to make any promises. “But Philippe Coutinho is a dedicated, intense Liverpool player right now that is delivering.”