Jurgen Klopp drops Philippe Coutinho for the Liverpool clash

Source: Liverpool FC Website

Jurgen Klopp left out Philippe Coutinho from the squad that will face Manchester City on Saturday due to lack of fitness.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said the Brazil international, who was the subject of three failed transfer bids from Barcelona during the transfer window, was in “a good mood” after returning to Merseyside following international duty.

They both were in agreement that he must build up his fitness before being considered for the first team.

“We had a very good talk,” said Klopp. “He was in a very good mood and training was even better.

“But I had to make a decision. We have seven games in the next three weeks so there will never be time really to train.

“Before he went to Brazil he couldn’t train for about three weeks. That means we have to prepare him for the rest of the season, which is quite difficult with our fixture schedule.

“So I decided to leave him out of the squad for City. We can use these four or five days for real and proper training.

“We got all the numbers from the Brazilian FA around the intensity of training and stuff like this.

“That was all okay but he played twice, for around 15 or 20 minutes I think. He could have played 15 or 20 minutes again in the City game, maybe longer, but I think it makes sense to omit him.”

“He agreed completely. It was a good conversation.”

Klopp believes Liverpool handled the speculation over Coutinho’s future “really well” and says his relationship with the player remains strong.

“We have a wonderful player in our squad who wants to get fit and play for this club. We don’t know how long anybody will play for the club, sometimes we want to send players away and also sometimes players think about their futures.

“That’s a normal situation and there’s absolutely no problem.”

Liverpool travel to Etihad stadium to face Manchester United, Saturday early kick – off.

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