Coutinho bid a waste of time, Klopp tells Barca

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp has told Barcelona they are wast­ing their time try­ing to sign Brazil­ian play­maker Philippe Coutin­hono mat­ter the of­fer. Klopp has al­ready re­jected a $93 mil­lion bid for Coutinho, who scored a su­perb win­ner in Liver­pool’s 2-1 Pre­mier League Asia Tro­phy vic­tory over Leices­ter City in Hong Kong on Satur­day.

Barca are set to test Liver­pool’s re­solve with an im­proved of­fer but Klopp has told the Cata­lan giants not to bother. “If I say he is not for sell­ing, he is not for sell­ing,” the Ger­man told Bri­tish me­dia.

“There is noth­ing else to say. It’s a club de­ci­sion, it’s my de­ci­sion. That’s how it is.” Liver­pool sold Luis Suarez to Barca and Ra­heem Ster­ling to Manch­ester City in re­cent years but Klopp bris­tled when asked if he had re­ceived as­sur­ances from the board that Coutinho would not be next. “I can say 20 times, he is not for sale,” said Klopp, who has been frus­trated so far in his at­tempts to sign Leipzig mid­fielder Naby Keita and Southamp­ton de­fender Vir­gil van Dijk dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow. “If you ask the other ques­tion the other way and I say, ‘there has been no as­sur­ance’, you make the story the other way. “With Suarez I was far away,” added the for­mer Borus­sia Dort­mund coach, who joined Liver­pool in 2015.

“When the club sold Ster­ling I was maybe the last to know about it. Those sit­u­a­tions have noth­ing to do with this one. “We are ap­proach­ing a very im­por­tant mo­ment and we want to get bet­ter. For this we have to keep our key play­ers,” said Klopp, in­sist­ing his word was fi­nal. “There is no story for me,” he added. “What­ever hap­pens from their side, I say he is not for sale. You can say what­ever you want. The an­swer is ‘not for sale’.”

Klopp con­firmed he had spo­ken to Coutinho in pri­vate at the team’s ho­tel in Hong Kong be­fore Satur­day’s game but re­fused to re­veal what was said. The Ger­man did, how­ever, ex­plain the rea­son for his first-half rant at ref­eree Bobby Madley fol­low­ing some heavy chal­lenges on Coutinho. “I was not too happy about two de­ci­sions around Phil,” said Klopp. “He (Madley) told me if I be­have like I be­haved to­day (in the Pre­mier League) then I would have to go in the stands. “I said: ‘If I be­have like to­day then I go in the stand, no prob­lem. But you have to change how you whis­tle’. For me, it was a clear foul, it’s dan­ger­ous.”

— AP

PARIS: Tour de France win­ner Bri­tain’s Chris Froome, wear­ing the over­all leader’s yel­low jersey, holds son Kel­lan as his wife Michelle looks on on the Champs El­y­sees av­enue af­ter the twenty-first and last stage of the Tour de France cy­cling race over 103 kilo­me­ters (64 miles) with start in Mont­geron and fin­ish in Paris, France, yes­ter­day.

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