“I think we handled it really well”, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp of Coutinho. They also came away with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth with seven minutes into stoppage time. “I’m really, really happy for him”, he said. He was back on Wednesday.
The winger had said goodbye to many of his young team-mates in July and subsequently spent much of his time in London before signing for Dortmund for around £8 million.
“I am so happy with the decision they have taken, and Manchester City agree about that”, he explained. We’ve had a conversation. “[Thursday] he was in and we had a very good talk, he was in a very good mood and his training was even better”. Before he went to Brazil he couldn’t train for three weeks. “I can not even remember three or four days of the last four weeks”.
The Reds turned down three offers from the Spanish giants for Coutinho – who had made a transfer request – and maintain he was not for sale. “It was a good conversation”. They will play seven games in the next 22 days and the manager is keen on having all his players fit.
Manchester City full-back Benjamin Mendy has revealed that he used last season’s Champions League game at the Etihad Stadium as an audition for a move to the club. The relationship with Coutinho is the same.
The Spaniard was then asked whether the lack of central defensive cover could be an oversight on his part after the closing of the Premier League’s transfer window and he added: “The window is over, with, or without Vincent”. There’s no secret what happened.
“If we’re going into a month before the end of the season in the middle of May and we’re right up there going for it, I would say that’s been a successful season”.
“This season we take care of him, he played three games 90 minutes”.
Klopp, however, claimed that everyone at Anfield could sympathise with Coutinho’s predicament as he was tempted by a club at the very top of world football and not, for example, by neighbours Everton.
“Before he had the back problems he was in outstanding shape”.
“We had a chat about it in the dressing room yesterday”.
“We needed more players than we have in the past (few seasons) and that means we have to rotate to keep intensity levels up”. Adam Lallana is also nursing an injury, and will be an important player once he returns.
Ahead of the game, Pep Guardiola has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s given reporters a team news and injury update.
“That’s the past now”, he said.