Barcelona, you’ve been warned.
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Jurgen Klopp has issued a hands off warning to the Spanish giants as reports continue to circulate that Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, 24, will be the subject of a $70 million bid this summer.
Coutinho looks set to return to Liverpool’s matchday squad for the EFL Cup semifinal first leg at Southampton on Wednesday, with the Brazilian out since November with an ankle injury he suffered in the Reds’ win against Sunderland at Anfield.
Klopp confirmed that Coutinho is going nowhere but also admitted that the fact his star man has been out injured for two months won’t stop big clubs bidding for him.
“We never had any ideas or plans or any talks about him leaving, because he is our player – there are no other ideas, nothing has changed,” Klopp said. “Big clubs don’t think in this way unfortunately. It was not a big injury so there was no question of him not being the same player afterwards. It would be nice if big clubs forgot about a player completely because he’s been injured for five or six weeks.”
Coutinho is likely to come off the bench against Southampton to shake some rust off and get some minutes under his belt ahead of the huge derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
We all know what happened with Luis Suarez in the summer of 2014 but if Liverpool wants to remain a title contender beyond this season, Coutinho simply has to stay on board. That is all.