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    Wednesday, 9 August 2017

    Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp silent on Philippe Coutinho links to Barcelona

    Jurgen Klopp has described Liverpool as being "in a good shape" ahead of the new season - while keeping quiet about Philippe Coutinho's future.
    Speaking on Wednesday as the club announced Western Union as their shirt sleeve sponsor, Klopp did not make any specific reference to Coutinho - the Reds playmaker who continues to be linked with Barcelona - and left the media event before it was opened up for questions.
    Barcelona had a £72m bid for the Brazil international rejected in July and, having subsequently sold his compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £200.6m, are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of the 25-year-old.
    Klopp last week reiterated his stance that Coutinho was not for sale.
    Liverpool completed their pre-season matches by beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in Dublin on Saturday, with Coutinho one of a number of players missing due to illness and niggles.
    The Merseyside outfit begin their Premier League campaign by taking on Watford away on Saturday, then travel to Germany for Tuesday's Champions League qualifying play-off first leg against Hoffenheim.
    Jamie Carragher says Liverpool don't need the money for Philippe Coutinho and he expects him to stay at Anfield for another season.
    Jamie Carragher says Liverpool don't need the money for Philippe Coutinho and he expects him to stay at Anfield for another season.
    Klopp said on Wednesday: "When we finished last season in fourth position everybody was really happy about it - it was really a good result for a big effort.
    "We knew also there would be a qualification game, and now it is coming up. But the first challenge we have to face is playing Watford, even though everybody is thinking about the Champions League qualifiers.
    "So Watford is the first target, and we have a few more days to prepare for this game.
    "We are in a good shape. The players are in a good mood, the attitude in all the training sessions was really good - yes, there have been one or two little injuries and one bigger [Adam Lallana's thigh problem], but that is how life is.
    "We showed it in Dublin again that we are in a good shape. So everything is in a good way - but of course now we have to deliver, and we know that, so we are ready for it.
    "The freshness is coming back. We are really excited."

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