Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is unconcerned by the continued speculation regarding playmaker Philippe Coutinho and is confident he will remain at Anfield. The Brazil international has been linked with a £60m ($75.31m) move to Barcelona but having signed a new deal in January appears unlikely to be trading in Merseyside for Catalonia anytime soon.
Since returning from an international break which saw him help Brazil become the first nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Coutinho has recaptured his very best form. Three goals and an assist have come in the last four games to help the Reds occupy a Champions League qualification place heading into the final six games of the campaign.
Such run of form has only worked to intensify speculation regarding a move to Barcelona, a switch fellow-countryman and ex-Nou Camp star Rivaldo believes would be good for Coutinho who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in January 2013. Klopp is taking the interest as a positive and believes it means his player is matching expectations.
"I am not concerned because I think Phil fits really well here and is comfortable here," he said. "I think it is actually positive when there is interest. It shows it's good. Phil had a difficult time with injury, coming back fighting for his shape, and I would say that's normal.
"In the last three games, you can see immediately, when he is in a little bit of shape, how big the difference is he can have in a game. That's wonderful for us. But I am not concerned (about Barcelona) actually, because we give the boys enough perspective that they really want to be part of this for the next few years."
The timing of Coutinho's run of form has coincided with the absence of Sadio Mane, who will miss the rest of the season having undergone knee surgery, and Adam Lallana who has a thigh injury picked up while on England duty in March.Victory in each of their last six games will assure Liverpool a top four spot and Klopp is confident of achieving such a feat with Coutinho in
Victory in each of their last six games will assure Liverpool a top four spot and Klopp is confident of achieving such a feat with Coutinho in toe.
"Phil had a difficult time with injury, coming back fighting for shape, I would say," Klopp added on Coutinho, who has recovered from recent illness to star for Liverpool. "That's normal. In the last three games, you can see immediately, when he is in a little bit of shape, how big the difference is he can have in a game. That's wonderful for us."