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We don't make big comments on these things - Klopp unresponsive to Coutinho talk

Omnisport
NEWS
News
08 Aug 2019, 18:46 IST
JurgenKloppPhilippeCoutinho - cropped
Jurgen Klopp and Philippe Coutinho

Jurgen Klopp refused to be drawn on whether Liverpool had been offered the chance to bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield.

Coutinho joined Barcelona from the Reds in a deal worth €160million midway through the 2017-18 season but has endured a disappointing time at Camp Nou.

The Brazil playmaker has been frequently touted for a potential departure to finance Neymar's mooted return to the LaLiga champions.

Arsenal and Tottenham have been suggested as destinations for Coutinho's Premier League return and, speaking ahead of Friday's season opener against Norwich City, Klopp elected to keep his cards close to his chest

"To part one of your question, no answer," he said.

"How we deal with things like this in the past gives us the opportunity to say nothing. We don't make big comments on these things."

Liverpool have only added youngsters Sven van den Berg and Harvey Elliott to the squad that amassed 97 points as Premier League runners-up before going on to become Champions League winners.

Klopp joked about his club's lack of activity on deadline day for England's top-flight clubs but is happy with their measured approach

"It's not really likely [Liverpool will sign anyone] so if you have something to do I think you should go to Everton," he chuckled. "I think they are more busy. But we will see.

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"Our transfer window was checking options and thinking about it. That's how we do it always. If nothing happens, it was because the decision was not the right option for us.

"We will not make signings just for making signings. That makes no sense."

By contrast, Liverpool spent heavily last close-season to bring in Alisson, Fabinho and Naby Keita.

While the Brazilian duo were influential during an excellent campaign from Klopp's men, Keita struggled for form and fitness.

His manager sees an opportunity for the former RB Leipzig midfielder to kick on this season.

"There were ups and downs last year. He is still building 100 per cent fitness," he said.

“Naby looks completely different, this pre-season you can see that he is much more settled in the team.

"[His] body language is different, everything is different. We expect a lot, he expects a lot and rightly so."

Like Keita, Sadio Mane's return to training was delayed by participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Senegal forward sat out last weekend's Community Shield at Wembley, where Liverpool were beaten on penalties by Manchester City after a 1-1 draw, but Klopp confirmed he is in contention to face Norwich along with James Milner, who has recovered from a muscular issue.

"[Mane] only had two weeks off, so he didn't lose a lot. He looks fit. Yesterday was the first session with the team," he added.

"He looks absolutely okay, in good spirits, looking forward to it. Yes, he's an option."

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