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Coutinho not for sale, Klopp warns Barcelona

Barcelona are targeting Liverpool star Coutinho to replace Neymar © AFP/File / Paul ELLIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 10Jurgen Klopp has warned Barcelona that Liverpool have no intention of selling Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho at any price.

Barca want Coutinho to replace Neymar following the Brazilian’s world record £200 million ($260 million, 222 million euros) transfer to Paris Saint Germain earlier this month.

The Spanish club are reported to have increased their bid for Coutinho to £90 million this week after two previous offers were rejected by the Premier League side.

With Barca cash rich following Neymar’s move and Coutinho said to be keen on a move, there is every chance they will eventually test Liverpool’s resolve with an offer in excess of £100 million.

Barca believe Coutinho can step in for Neymar alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a star-studded front three, and could also provide cover for 33-year-old Andres Iniesta in midfield.

But Liverpool manager Klopp remains adamant the 25-year-old will stay at Anfield no matter what Barca are prepared to pay.

“We want to have the best possible team. This means keeping the guys we have,” Klopp told Sky in Germany.

“Liverpool is not a club that needs to sell. That is set in stone. So what they pay in the end doesn’t matter.

“From a financial standpoint, there’s no threshold of pain.”

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Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5 million in 2013, signed a new five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in January that did not include a buy-out clause.

He was their leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last term, a season that saw Klopp’s men qualify for the Champions League with a fourth place finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool open the new Premier League campaign against Watford on Saturday.

But Coutinho could be sidelined at Vicarage Road, having received treatment this week for a back injury.

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