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Transfer Rater: Douglas Costa to Man United

Football Whispers
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Jurgen Klopp not concerned by Philippe Coutinho links to Barcelona

Steve Nicol weighs in on Philippe Coutinho's comments regarding his Liverpool future, suggesting the team strengthen their defence if the Brazilian star leaves.
With all five English teams advancing to the Champions League knockout stage, Stevie Nicol predicts who'll go all the way.

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp says he has "no reasons" to think about Philippe Coutinho's Liverpool future and that nobody informed him the playmaker will be leaving in the January transfer window.

Speculation continues to be rife about the possibility of Coutinho moving to the Camp Nou in the winter, with the player himself recently non-committal about staying at Liverpool.

However, Klopp stressed on Friday that he has not been contemplating Coutinho's future due to Liverpool's packed schedule from now until the end of the January transfer window.

"I have no reasons to think about it," Klopp told a news conference. "The only thing what you are doing is asking me. That doesn't change my situation.

"I have said it a few times, we never spoke about transfers in this moment. Whatever I could say would, obviously, not stop your questions, so I thought it'd make sense to not answer it. It feels a little bit like a waste of time.

"There's really nothing to say in this moment. I'm completely in the situation and nobody came to me so far and said: 'Phil will be away in January' -- nobody who has influence on it.

"That's all. I'm completely fine with the situation -- that's how it is. We had this big story in the summer. I have no desire to have it again from now on until the end of January because we play around 20 games in this period. I will say nothing about that.

"At the 31st of January we can then shake hands and say: 'What a wonderful time we had together' -- the journalists and me, not Phil and me."

Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring one of his three goals on the evening.
Philippe Coutinho is contracted to Liverpool until 2022.

Meanwhile, Klopp has downplayed the fact Jordan Henderson was left out of the starting XI for Liverpool's 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow in midweek.

The Liverpool manager believes the reaction to Henderson's omission has been overblown, and feels he suffers from succeeding Steven Gerrard as club captain.

"[I'm] not sure if it's an English thing or an old-fashioned thing, but even your captain cannot play all the time," Klopp added.

"That's how it is, you cannot just bring him in because he has the armband. He's in a good moment, in good shape but for this game [Spartak Moscow], I made this decision. I thought it makes real sense in these weeks -- not that it was all planned -- but you need the players on the pitch who know 100 percent what a derby is about.

"So I made the decision last week and I only spoke about it [after the Champions League game] because I knew people will find out 'oh fantastic game, Jordan didn't play' and make s--- stories out of it.

"But there are still s--- stories. He's such an important player for us and I really don't get why I have to say that. But I live in this city and I know how people sometimes are talking about things.

"Being a skipper of Liverpool is the hardest job in world football because the man who had the armband before you was Steven Gerrard. Sorry -- he finished playing football and we cannot get him back.

"I want that everybody respects that Jordan Henderson is our skipper because he deserves it and is the right man for the job.

"That still doesn't mean he can play all the games until he is injured. So it's actually no story, but in England -- and especially in Liverpool -- it is. Story done."

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

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