Jürgen Klopp has made it clear that any decision about Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool is out of his hands, with the manager claiming his “bosses” have the final say on any players going in or out of the club.
Coutinho is desperate to join Barcelona and the Brazilian submitted a transfer request on Friday to try to force the move through, yet Liverpool remain adamant he will stay.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Watford, where Miguel Britos scored a 93rd-minute equaliser to darken the manager’s mood further, Klopp outlined how things work at Anfield when it comes to transfers, in particular the fact that he does not have total control when it comes to players’ futures.
Liverpool left to rue Miguel Britos’s offside equaliser for Watford
Asked about Coutinho’s transfer request, which was emailed to Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s sporting director, Klopp said: “I didn’t get it but I can say something that is maybe more important. As a manager of a football club I have bosses, and if bosses decide, for example, just in general, if we sell a player or we don’t sell him, then I have to accept it. I cannot say anything about it [the transfer request]. I work with the players I have – that is what I’m always doing.”
Liverpool are disappointed with the way Coutinho has handled things, especially as the club had previously made it clear to him in face-to-face meetings that a move to Barcelona would not be entertained at the moment.
Klopp, who pointed to the statement Liverpool issued on Friday when asked whether anything had changed from the club’s perspective, chose his words carefully. Asked whether he was upset with Coutinho’s conduct, the manager said: “First of all, if I would be upset with the player, I would tell him.”
The manager’s mind was more engaged with Liverpool’s dramatic draw at Vicarage Road, where the visitors thought they had the game won when they scored twice in two minutes in the second half through Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to take a 3-2 lead. Watford snatched a point in controversial circumstances, however, when Britos, from an offside position, bundled home in injury time. “We had our moments then we conceded an offside goal,” Klopp said. “That’s really not fun. Difficult to accept.”
It was the second goal that Liverpool conceded from a corner, after Stefano Okaka’s opener exposed familiar shortcomings in a team that were vulnerable when dealing with dead-ball situations last season. Liverpool’s defending on Watford’s other goal, which was swept home by Abdoulaye Doucouré after Sadio Mané had equalised for Liverpool, was also desperately poor. “Of course we knew it before but after this game we have a lot of things to do,” Klopp added.