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Want-away Coutinho still out for Liverpool


London (AFP) – Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho remains unavailable for Liverpool due to a back problem, manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday.

The Brazilian playmaker, 25, submitted a transfer request on the eve of the season and has been the subject of three unsuccessful bids from Barcelona.

Despite his injury status, he has been called up by Brazil for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia.

“He’s on our injury list, that hasn’t changed,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.

“I was not in contact so far with the Brazilian FA, but the rules are if they want to see him and check him then he has to go there. I don’t know, but I think that will happen. It’s no problem.”

Liverpool welcome Premier League title rivals Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday, having secured their place in the Champions League with a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim on Wednesday.

Klopp’s side were drawn to face Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Slovenian outfit Maribor in Thursday’s group-stage draw.

Klopp has less than a week to add to his squad before the transfer window closes and has thus far seen moves for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita come to nothing.

But having added Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, Scottish left-back Andy Robertson and young striker Dominic Solanke to his ranks, he says he is content with his squad as it is.

“Until August 31, a lot of things are really possible, in and out. If the transfer window closed tomorrow, I’m happy with it,” he said.

“Divock Origi was not in the squad (against Hoffenheim). He has done nothing wrong — it just shows how big the quality already is.

“Andrew Robertson showed up against Crystal Palace. Before, everyone thought, ‘Robertson from Hull?’ Now they think he is really strong.

“Dominic Solanke showed everything you want from a new player in a really short term. Mo Salah, we don’t have to talk about this.

“James Milner plays in midfield again, that’s for us like a transfer. Alberto Moreno played again at left-back and was outstanding.

“We will see what happens. I’m happy at the moment. Will I be happy on the 31st? Not sure. Will I be more happy? It’s possible.”

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