Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool unable to take Philippe Coutinho back despite being offered Brazilian

David Cooper 20/08/2019
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Philippe Coutinho and Jurgen Klopp

Philippe Coutinho could have headed back to Liverpool instead of Bayern Munich were it not for his former club’s tight budget.

The Brazilian left the Reds for Barcelona in January 2018 in a deal worth up to €145 million, but the 27-year-old has already been shipped out of the Camp Nou, joining Bayern on an initial season-long loan with an option to buy for €120m.

Die Rotten will pay his full wage package as well as an €8.5m loan fee, however, speaking to Goal, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp suggested the club were offered the chance to bring him back.

“It sounds a bit strange, but we could not afford it, we have already spent the cash that we got for him,” Klopp told Goal.

Klopp at the time was reluctant to let Coutinho leave with the playmaker a crucial player both in midfield and as an option in the front three of Liverpool’s attack.

And the German admitted if he had his way, Coutinho would never have left.

“We were reluctant to hand him over, but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak,” he added.

“The move makes sense for both sides. He’s a super player and a great boy. He is a world-class footballer who can change games in the right environment.”

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Jurgen Klopp happy to see Liverpool avoid ‘banana skin’ at Southampton

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes winning at Southampton was the best way to celebrate lifting another trophy.

The Reds made light of their midweek exertions, where they travelled to Istanbul and won the Super Cup against Chelsea, to triumph 2-1 on the south coast and record a club-record 11th successive Premier League win.

It was their second prize in the last three months, following the Champions League success in June, and they are now the country’s most trophy-laden club with 46.

But Klopp took much more pride in the way his side battled to three points at St Mary’s thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

“I have nothing to do with pretty much 99 per cent of the trophies the club have won,” he said.

“It took long enough to get rid of the burden of all the success in the past, so it is good we won the games.

“We will never forget that for sure, our supporters will never forget that.

“Actually, it is easy to be happy after the game and then be concentrated the next morning about the next thing.

Liverpool v Chelsea: UEFA Super Cup

“It is not that we now run constantly through the floors or whatever and celebrate and don’t put our arms down. It’s all OK.

“That’s why I liked it so much. We are not used to winning big things and then coming to Southampton, I really loved how much respect we showed.

“I said before the game that this looks like the biggest banana skin in history; everybody is waiting for it and probably all the headlines were written already.

“I told the boys the headline I would prefer is, ‘The mentality giants were in town’ – that’s how I feel it in the moment.

“The boys did an outstanding job, all good, let’s go home, recover and start again.”

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Jurgen Klopp laughs off Adrian error as Liverpool beat Southampton

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp joked that Adrian’s mistake during Liverpool‘s 2-1 win over Southampton was a rite of passage.

The Spanish goalkeeper overcame an ankle injury suffered when a pitch invader slid into him during the celebrations of their Super Cup win against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday to take his place in the side at St Mary’s.

But after Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino goals had put Liverpool in control, he handed Southampton a lifeline as he dallied on a backpass which was charged down by Danny Ings and ended up in the back of the net.

The Reds had to hang on in the end, recording a club-record 11th successive Premier League victory and making light of their midweek jaunt to Turkey, where they played 120 minutes and did not arrive back home until 4am on Thursday.

Adrian has been thrust into Klopp’s side after an injury to first choice Allison, who made a similar mistake in his first few months at the club last season.

And the German said it was only right that Adrian made an error.

“Minute 83, Adrian thought, ‘I’ve played really well so I have to make a mistake like Alli did’ and kept the game a little bit open,” he said.

“I said to him, ‘Finally, it arrived, welcome’. Alli did the same, obviously it is a goalie thing at Liverpool. I have no problem with that as long as we win the game.

“Adrian had a swollen ankle, we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did today, all the saves he made, all the other stuff.

“The other players need to feel the responsibility for the build-up for the balls back for him.

“He is good with his feet and if you would have seen his ankle on Thursday when we left the plane then you would say that pass for the goal was better than you would have expected. It is all fine.

“He had a clearing session at 10am and I got the message that he was fine. If I got the message that he wasn’t fine then I would have had a decision to make.

“He said at breakfast that he was fine and we had to test it.”

Liverpool’s hectic schedule looked like catching up with them in the first half as Southampton were the better side and had two fine chances to lead through Maya Yoshida and Che Adams.

But Mane’s clinical strike in first-half stoppage time put them in front and then Firmino doubled the lead in the 71st minute after a host of other chances went begging.

Adrian’s error allowed the hosts back into it and then Ings should have delivered the ultimate penalty to his former club, but he somehow missed from four yards.

Klopp insists his side’s midweek exertions had nothing to do with their afternoon on the south coast.

“Southampton is a good team. They defend well, they had good counter attacks, good organisation,” he said.

“This afternoon it was difficult again, nothing to do with the game midweek. I said before the game if we had come here with two weeks’ preparation it would have been difficult.

“I liked the game a lot. It is not allowed to think too much about Wednesday but I know it, so I was really impressed with how fresh we looked, at the start especially, just how good we were.

“We deserved to win.”

Ings will have nightmares about his miss when he goes to bed and so will boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, whose side have now lost their opening two games.

“We stayed in and tried to come back into the game and at 2-1 we could feel there was hope for everybody,” he said.

“Ingsy scored once but could be the big hero for us, the second chance to miss was unbelievable. We had three men in the box at that moment and we couldn’t get the ball over the line and that was a real pity.

“The guys for what they invested today they maybe deserved one point, but we didn’t get it. It’s tough to take.

“After the first half it was hard to take, but I think we haven’t been so bad. We had big chances to score. We stressed them very early, we tried to give them high pressure and we didn’t give a lot of chances away.

“That is the difference, a player like Mane in such a moment with all of his quality and then you are one down.”   

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