(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has quashed speculation linking midfielder Philippe Coutinho with a move to Barcelona in the summer, highlighting the fact the player had put pen to paper on a contract extension until 2020 in January.
”When did he sign his new contract?“ Klopp told British media. ”There are absolutely no plans (to sell).
”What our owners say is there is the absolute opportunity not to sell anybody if we do not want to. That means we can bring in other players and it is a good situation. We have a stable squad with a good basis.
“We want to bring a few in with fresh blood, but nobody will leave us without our say so I am completely relaxed about this.”
Liverpool are third in the league on 70 points with two games left. They will secure a top-four spot if they win both their remaining games but have no room for error with Manchester City (69 points) and Arsenal (66 points) hot on their heels each with a game in hand.
Injured forward Sadio Mane was confident Liverpool would secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
”It’s frustrating being out and having to watch, but my team mates are still doing a great job on the pitch,“ he added. ”I am very confident that they will get the points we need from the final two matches to get us in the top four.
“We have a great manager and he knows what is required. We all want to get this club into the Champions League.”
Liverpool travel to 12th-placed West Ham United on Sunday and end the season with a home game against relegated Middlesbrough.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford