JURGEN Klopp still insists Liverpool will not sell Philippe Coutinho.
The Liverpool manager was grilled on the Brazilian’s future in the post-match media rounds after Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Watford, and remained adamant his club’s owners will remain steadfast in their stance to hold onto Coutinho despite the playmaker’s transfer request and continued interest from Barcelona.
Sky Sports reports that Coutinho’s Liverpool teammates “sympathise with the Brazil international” despite his departure set to throw their season into chaos.
It has also emerged that Barcelona will return with a third bid, finally eclipsing the £100m mark after having bids of £72 million and £90 million rejected, but The Express that the Anfield club will demand a bid pushing towards £145m.
Meanwhile, The Mirror reports that Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne is being sounded out as an SOS signing should Coutinho inevitably depart. Rated at £60million, the 26-year-old playmaker scored 20 goals from midfield in Serie A for the third-placed side last season. Liverpool will have the financial clout to muscle in, much like Barcelona have, but if the Italians hold firm, then Bundesliga youngsters Max Meyer, a 21-year-old attacking midfielder from Schalke, and 21-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt, who has once rejected Liverpool already, are others being looked at as contingencies.
But for now, Liverpool’s public stance remains defiant.
“You’ll have to ask the club. I didn’t see the club today - the decisive people - but I don’t think so because I think it was pretty clear what the club, FSG, said about it,” Klopp said.
“I can say something that is maybe a more important thing. As a manager of a football club I have bosses, and if bosses decide, for example, just in general, to sell a player or we don’t sell him, then I have to accept it.
“If they don’t sell him, then I’m not involved anymore. I’m responsible for all players, not just one, two or three.
“I cannot say anything about it. The only thing is I work with the players I have - that is what I’m always doing.”