Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has uncovered that Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho is probably not going to play against Manchester City this end of the week as they keep on managing the back damage which has kept him out of club activity so far this season.
The news comes as a shock after the 25-year-old played twice for his nation amid the international break, scoring once in two substitute appearances amid World Cup qualifying before flying home and coming back to preparing on Thursday.
The news comes after Coutinho was the subject of extreme interest from Barcelona toward the finish of the transfer window, with the Spanish side presenting various offers coming to as high as £138million, yet the Anfield club stood firm and rejected the offers for a player they insisted they had no aim of selling.
Coutinho, who earlier in August turned in an transfer request, has not showed up for Liverpool so far this season because of a niggling back issue yet trained with his partners on Thursday. It is this back issue that will probably keep him out of Saturday noon’s conflict with City.
Manager Klopp, addressing LFC TV, revealed that he addressed the Brazilian after his arrival from worldwide obligation and was feeling positive after the discussion.
He did, in any case, concede his wellness should be overseen precisely.
‘Of course – all good, all good,’ Klopp said, when asked about his conversation with Coutinho. ‘Nothing else to say, actually, so he’s back and we had a really good conversation, so good,’ he stated.
‘It’s of course different because Phil, I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn’t train so that means he missed around about three weeks.
‘Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season so we have seven games [before the next international break] and we saw training this morning and thought ‘OK, maybe we should use him immediately’ because he was really good, but that doesn’t make sense.
‘We have now to continue with the pre-season, not too long, but in a few sessions we have to give ourselves the time because in the next month we have seven games.
‘We always have the same decision to make, ‘does he need training or can he play?’ and all that stuff. Yes, he will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood and looks really promising.’
Coutinho is yet to pull on the reds jersey this season and play in any competitions. The last game he played for the Reds came in the pre season.
Brazil Image via Reuters
Coutinho image via Getty.
Feature Image artwork by Fanny Gogh