Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has distanced himself from talks of Philippe Coutinho's departure amid speculation that the midfielder is set for a record transfer to Barcelona in January. The Reds have recently completed a world record deal for Virgil van Dijk, which has led to speculation that a deal might be on the table for the imminent transfer of the Brazilian to Catalan shores.
Van Dijk's move to Liverpool holds its own place among the biggest transfers in the league's history. Matching Romelu Lukaku's move to Manchester United, the deal was the joint-second priciest ever seen in the English top-flight, behind only Paul Pogba's £90m ($122m) return to Old Trafford in August 2016. The Dutchman is said to have signed a long-term deal at Anfield on wages of approximately £180,000-a-week.
Meanwhile, Spanish publication Sport claims that a January deal for Coutinho is close and Barcelona would have to part with a massive €150m (£132.7m, $177.7m) fee to complete the transfer as the Brazilian's agent has conveyed to the Catalans that Fenway Sports Group are unwilling to let him go for anything below that fee when the transfer window reopens next month.
The move would dwarf any transfer ever made by an English club, allowing Liverpool to balance their books. The Reds also have a deal in place for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita for a fee likely to go up to €75m (£67m, $92m) should the Bundesliga club secure Champions League football next season.
However, Klopp has refused to talk up any potential move for the midfielder, stating that he is not interested in discussing deals that are still under speculation. The 25-year-old has scored seven goals and assisted six in 13 league appearances so far for the Reds and has been an integral factor in them keeping pace with the top-four.
"In my business it makes absolutely no sense to talk about things that 'could', 'maybe' happen because all it does is create stories which 90 per cent of the time are not true. Why should we do that?" Klopp said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"I was really happy about the last few performances and about his impact. He showed his character in the games and in the training sessions. That was spot on.
"That is what I am interested in because all the rest I can't, and don't, want to talk about — because if I open the door then you run all the way through," Klopp said and added that the only thing he is concerned about is the Brazilian's performance on the pitch.