Jurgen Klopp is confident that Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge’s future is firmly at Liverpool.
Coutinho has been linked with Barcelona but sources have told ESPN FC the Spanish champions have made no contact with Liverpool regarding a transfer and that the player is “clearly happy” on Merseyside.
Coutinho is Liverpool’s joint-top goal scorer so far this season and has played an integral role in the team reaching the top of the Premier League. Klopp feels the 24-year-old is currently thriving at Anfield and believes he can improve even further.
“My feeling and my opinion is that he feels really well here,” Klopp told a news conference at Melwood on Thursday morning. “We all hope and think his future is here in Liverpool.
“Everyone forgets when you talk about Phil that he’s still very young. You’re saying now that he’s the player Brazil always dreamed of, but he’s only 24 now, with a long way to go and lots of space of development.
“Of course, he’s now at the stage where his skills — with a mixture of the experiences he’s had — give you more consistency. With the teammates he has, he’s getting better and better. And he’s only just starting.”
UOL Esporte has reported that Neymar spent the recent international break talking to Coutinho about a potential move to Camp Nou.
The players have known each other since they were teenagers in Brazil’s youth teams and UOL Esporte say sources close to Neymar have even confirmed the 24-year-old has recommended the Catalan club make a move for the Liverpool midfielder.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reported on Monday that Sturridge was ready to quit Liverpool, with West Ham United and Stoke City among those interested in his services.
The striker has struggled to force his way into Liverpool’s starting XI this season due to the success from the front three of Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
However, Klopp has no doubts about the England international’s commitment to the cause for the rest of the campaign.
“My opinion is very good about Daniel, it has never changed,” Klopp said. “I saw the game [against Scotland] and he scored a wonderful goal.
“It’s very positive. When he came back he was happy to see us again. I could see it in his face, in his attitude in training and with the fun he had in the session. That’s a good sign.”
Klopp also spoke about the need to make the club an environment where no player wants to depart.
The Reds boss insists he is not concerned about his star players being linked with a move away from Anfield and says the mood currently around the club is a positive one.
“The very, very good players, you want them to stay long-term,” Klopp added. “The average players, sometimes you want them to stay, sometimes not. It’s all about us — the club is not the problem and the owners are not the problem — it’s about creating a perspective that nobody wants to leave. At the end, it will not be about money.
“If there’s a club who can pay double, then I’ll bring the player to them because who I am to say to them ‘No, no, don’t think about your family, the kids, the grandkids and then their kids’ and all this stuff? I don’t know a lot of clubs in the world who can do this.
“For us, first of all, we don’t think about money or talk about money. We have to create an atmosphere around the club that nobody wants to leave.
“In this moment, I’m not worried about anything. The players like to be here, it’s a job we’re doing and they like this.”