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Monday 5 December 2016

Liverpool boss confident Coutinho will stay

Pool’s Philippe Coutinho
Pool’s Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident in-form playmaker Philippe Coutinho sees his future at the club but admits they have to create an atmosphere where no-one wants to leave.

The Brazil international's form for club and country this season has seen him linked with the likes of Barcelona in recent weeks.

Coutinho signed a new five-year deal in February last year but his growing importance to the side could see him get an improved offer in an attempt to ward off interest from some of Europe's top sides.

Klopp, however, is happy with the current situation and while he accepts Liverpool will never be able to compete with clubs who offer mega-millions he believes they have something to counteract that.

"The club is not a problem, our owners are not a problem," said the German.

"It is creating the perspective that no-one wants to leave. That is all it is about.

"If there is a club that can pay double what we pay then I will bring the player there because who am I to say 'No, no no, please don't think about the family and the kids and the grandkids and their kids but I don't know a lot of clubs in the world who are able to do this.

"First of all before we talk about money we have to create an atmosphere in and around the club where no-one wants to leave. At this moment I am not worried about anything. The players like to be here and it is our job to make sure it stays like this.

IMPROVEMENT

"My opinion is that he feels really well here. We all hope and think that his future is here at Liverpool.

"But everyone forgets when you think about Phil is he is still very young. He is 24 so he is still young and has a long way to go and a lot of space for improvement and development.

"He is now at an age where the skills, in a mixture with his experience, gives you more consistency. With the team-mates he has around him it is getting better and better.

"I am sure he has only started and that is all good."

Another player whose long-term future continues to be a subject for speculation is Daniel Sturridge.

The 27-year-old is yet to score a Premier League goal this season having lost his first-team place.

Sturridge scored in England's World Cup qualifying win over Scotland but that is unlikely to get him back into his club side for Saturday's trip to Southampton.

Klopp, however, insists he remains happy with the striker and the player likewise with the club.

"My opinion is very good about Daniel, it has never changed, I saw the (England) game and he scored a wonderful goal," the Reds boss added.

"He is a wonderful football player so why should I change after 70-something minutes in the first game and no minutes in the second game?

"It is very positive. When he came back he was happy to see us again, I could see in his face, his attitude and the fun he had in training. That's a good sign."

Asked whether Sturridge would be happier playing Klopp added: "I was a player for a few years so yes, probably."

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