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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool to take caution with Philippe Coutinho's fitness - Jurgen Klopp

Paul Mariner says Philippe Coutinho must honor his contract now that he'll remain with Liverpool.
Brazil have fun at the expense of a mascot, Marcelo dazzles in training and plenty more in The Sweeper.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Philippe Coutinho are among the surprise UCL inclusions for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool need to be careful with the fitness of Philippe Coutinho after he returned to Merseyside following international duty with Brazil.

Coutinho did not appear in any of Liverpool's first five games of the season with what the club say was a back injury and then illness, having handed in a transfer request as he sought a move to Barcelona.

However, the playmaker appeared as a second-half substitute on two occasions for Brazil over the recent international break, scoring against Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier.

Speaking to the Liverpool's website, Klopp was asked about the condition of Coutinho and Roberto Firmino after their travels with Brazil and said: "It's a little bit different.

"Roberto played in the second game a little bit longer, but both are fit so that's cool, they're healthy so now we have to see.

"It's of course different because Phil, I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn't train so that means he missed around about three weeks.

Philippe Coutinho is back with Liverpool after playing for Brazil.

"Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season so we have seven games [before the next international break] and we saw training this morning and thought: 'OK, maybe we should use him immediately' because he was really good, but that doesn't make sense.

"We have now to continue with the preseason, not too long, but in a few sessions we have to give ourselves the time because in the next month we have seven games.

"We always have the same decision to make, 'does he need training or can he play?' and all that stuff. Yes, he will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood and looks really promising."

Klopp has previously stated that Coutinho would be welcomed back into his fold, with Liverpool remaining firm in their stance that the player would not sold, having rejected three offers from Spain.

After Coutinho reported back to the club's training ground on Thursday, Klopp said he had spoken to the 25-year-old.

"Of course -- all good, all good," the Liverpool manager added. "Nothing else to say, actually, so he's back and we had a really good conversation, so good."

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