Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp not angry about Philippe Coutinho's departure

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 5:54 PM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he isn't angry about losing star midfielder Philippe Coutinho to FC Barcelona.

Klopp made the comments on Friday during a press conference. Coutinho officially transferred from Liverpool to Barcelona on Monday, after multiple offers for the Brazilian had been exchanged.

"There was no other option; I would say it's a pretty easy answer," Klopp told reporters. "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."

Coutinho, 25, joined Liverpool in 2013. He netted a dozen goals in 20 appearances this season before the transfer. The midfielder was on the bench during Barcelona's 5-0 win Thursday against Celta Vigo.

Coutinho is ineligible to play for Barcelona in the Champions League.

Klopp said the Premier League squad was fighting and tried everything to keep Coutinho. He also said it was "100 percent clear" that Coutinho was no longer ready to help Liverpool on the field, compared to the first half of the season.

"As I said, I like Phil, he is a fantastic player and his behaviour [was good]. I said to him, I don't know after which game when we had a little talk on the pitch, 'what a character!' and that's true," Klopp said. "But he still wanted to leave, that's how it is and so now he's there and we are still here. There is nothing to compare, it is only to deal with the situation. Really, it is a normal, normal thing and we have only to make the best of it. That's easy because we still have fantastic players here and if we have difficulties in the next few games, we don't have them because Phil is not here anymore - we have them because we have difficulties, that's all."

Coutinho is training at the Ciutat Esportiva and recovering from a thigh injury.

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