Yesterday, Jürgen Klopp had his pre-Manchester City press conference and spoke about Philippe Coutinho and the club’s own transfer plans for January.
After Barcelona announced the signing of Coutinho on Monday, attention immediately to Jürgen Klopp for his thoughts on the matter as well as how the German plans to replace him.
Talk that Naby Keita will join the Reds this month is gathering pace while Thomas Lemar hasn’t been ruled out as a potential winter transfer either.
Liverpool face Manchester City at Anfield tomorrow and Klopp was receptive to a number of questions at the club’s Melwood media room.
On Coutinho joining Barcelona, Klopp said: “There was no other option; I would say it’s a pretty easy answer.
“I don’t know exactly how the reaction has been after that, but if there is somebody who maybe should be angry, massively disappointed or whatever in this case then it could be the manager of the club, with players leaving.
“But I’m not because I know we tried absolutely everything – the club tried everything to convince Phil to stay here and carry on going the way together with us and stuff like that. It is exactly like everybody knows – it was his dream and it’s the truth when I say he left Liverpool only for one club and that was Barcelona. That was the moment when we really had to accept that.”
Now that the Brazilian is gone, supporters and journalists want to know what the next step is and, logically, that means a replacement. Naturally, the journos present were sure to ask about how Coutinho might be replaced.
Klopp replied: “If we do something then it needs to be right decision, we don’t have to replace him – what we have to do is step up. We will have 11 players and we’ve played fantastic football without Phil.
“I don’t want to sound disrespectful because I really liked him; he was five years here and since I came in he was always in the dressing room. You miss a person and if you don’t miss them then something would have been wrong in the time you were together.
“I am sure he will miss us – maybe he doesn’t realise in the moment when everything is new there – but it’s 100 per cent clear.”
On what might happen in the transfer window circulating in the papers, Klopp said: “That’s part of the transfer window and I have nothing to say about that. It is how it is, we will see.
“Until January 31, a lot of things can happen in the transfer window and probably you will know if it’s about other clubs earlier than I will. But, nothing to say. We will see with all the things what can happen in the transfer window.”