Atletico Madrid
Leg 1
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FC Salzburg
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St. Kitts and Nevis
12:00 AM UTC Apr 27, 2018
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Jurgen Klopp: UCL qualification not needed to convince Liverpool signings

Despite the alleged 138 million pound bid rumoured to be on the way for Coutinho, Steve Nicol defends Liverpool's decision to keep the Brazilian.

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool's transfer targets had been convinced to join the club before a place in the Champions League group stages was secured.

Liverpool will play Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor after beating German club Hoffenheim in a two-legged playoff.

The club have only signed one guaranteed starter, Mohamed Salah, this summer, also recruiting Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson from Chelsea and Hull City.

"It was clear before the [Hoffenheim] game that we would definitely have European football, so the amount of games was pretty much clear," Klopp told a news conference.

"All the players we spoke to were convinced, so we didn't have to tell them: 'And maybe we will play Champions League.'

"Sometimes it's just possible or not possible. That's how it is. Until Aug. 31, that's how the business is -- a lot of things are possible, ins and outs.

"I've said it a few times -- if the transfer window closed tomorrow, it is like it is and I'm happy with it."

Klopp said the fact that forward Divock Origi had not made the squad against Hoffenheim "shows how big the quality already is."

And he added: "We work on it, you can imagine. We are in talks. Will something happen? I don't know.

"Andrew Robertson showed up against Crystal Palace. Before he showed up, I think everybody thought: 'Robertson from Hull?' and now they think: 'Oh my God, he's really strong!'

"Dominic Solanke showed everything you want to see from a new player in a really short time. Mo Salah, we don't have to talk about this.

"James Milner plays in midfield again, that's like a transfer for us. Alberto Moreno plays left-back again in an outstanding way.

"We will see what happens. I'm happy at the moment. Will I be happy on Aug. 31 still? Not sure. Will I be happier? Possible -- we will see."

Meanwhile, Klopp said Philippe Coutinho, who submitted a transfer request amid interest from Barcelona, was still injured.

Coutinho has not played in Liverpool's first four fixtures of the season but was named in the Brazil squad for World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia next month.

Klopp said: "At the moment, he's on our injury list. That hasn't changed.

"I've not been in contact so far with the Brazil FA, but the rules are that if they want to see him and check him, then of course he has to go there.

"I don't know exactly but I think it will happen, and we have no problem."

Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday, and Klopp is hopeful that he will be able to call on Emre Can and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the pair picked up slight knocks.

"Little things, nothing major," he said. "Trent had a little dead leg but was not too serious, Emre twisted a little bit but shouldn't be that serious.

"Nothing happened yesterday, so it should be OK."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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