Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a return to Anfield for Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled since leaving the club for Barcelona.
In a recent interview with ESPN FC, Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a return to Liverpool for Barcelona and Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho and has claimed that he hopes the 27-year-old finds success with the La Liga champions in the future.
Coutinho spent five successful years at Liverpool, having arrived from Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan in January 2013. The 27-year-old racked up 201 appearances for the Merseysiders, scoring 54 goals and setting up 45 more, establishing himself as one of the best in his position across Europe.
However, the Brazil international forced a transfer away from Liverpool to join Barcelona in January 2018 in a deal worth £142 million. But, Coutinho has found it tough going at Camp Nou and even after eighteen months at the club, is yet to find his footing with the La Liga champions.
Till date, the former Liverpool man has made 76 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 21 goals and assisting 11 more, finding himself behind Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order.
With Antoine Griezmann joining the Catalans this summer and a return to Camp Nou for Neymar also being mooted heavily, Coutinho finds himself staring at an uncertain future. Recent reports had even claimed that Barcelona were willing to use him as a makeweight in their bid to sign Neymar from PSG.
With Barcelona believed to be open for a sale, it isn’t much of a surprise that Coutinho had been linked with a return to Liverpool, given the success and adulation he enjoyed during his stay at Anfield. However, the Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a return for the Brazilian, claiming that the club has no plans to bring him back this summer.
In his interview with ESPN FC, the German tactician said: “In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still – 100%. It’s not about that. I like Phil, I think he’s a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it’s not our year for that.
“It’s just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better — us included — but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona. Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that.
“If everything was true what newspapers write about me — wow! If it’s similar to what they write about me, I would say he’s completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever.”
Coutinho is contracted with Barcelona till the summer of 2023. While his future with the La Liga champions is far from certain, judging by Klopp’s statements one thing is for sure – the Brazilian superstar won’t be lining up for Liverpool come next season.