By IZUCHUKWU OKOSI
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Friday refused to speak about the interest of Barcelona in his star player Phillipe Coutinho but hinted that the Brazilian will not be involved in Saturday’s English Premier League early kick-off against Manchester City.
“Before we start, we are not going to talk about transfers or Phil Coutinho – only the game,” Plopped said during his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“Whoever wants to talk about the game, you can stay – anything else you can leave.
“We have to prepare him for the rest of the season and that is quite difficult with our fixtures and schedule. He agreed – he didn’t want to just play 15 minutes.
“It is like when you are in a relationship and you take a break – you manage to forget what happened in that break and that’s what it is like. I am very happy with the situation”.
Klopp also talked about ensuring that there is unity in the dressing after the transfer window.
“I have said it a few times – I cannot keep all players happy each second of the day,” the German added. “That’s how it is.
“We had a chat about it in the dressing room yesterday. I said, if you look left and right, there is pure quality and if you are smart enough to address this quality, then we can be successful this season.”
Klopp then previewed his team’s Saturday clash against Man City: “City are outstandingly strong and we have to not let them do what they want to do.
“Both teams are strong on the counter-attack. It’s a really interesting game and I really enjoy the preparation.”
Klopp further spoke about new signing Oxlade-Chamberlain who joined from Arsenal: “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can fit in a few positions. We want to have him on the pitch as often as possible. He is a very good football player which helps a lot. He fits really well in the squad.”
The German coach had great words for youngster Ben Woodburn who was in scoring form for Wales during the international break.
“I can’t stop calling him Prince of Wales! I’m not sure he likes it but I love it.
“I saw Ben Woodburn interview with Gareth Bale and you could see in his eyes what (scoring for Wales) meant to him.
“We need to protect Ben but he’s not just a very very good footballer, he’s also a very smart person.
“Ben can still play in all out teams. We all heard stories about young players getting impatient and things change.
“I’m minimum 50% responsible for (Woodburn’s) development. We are ready to help him. He can start in specific games.”