Lionel Messi Stops Liverpool From Signing Barcelona Star

Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted that Philippe Coutinho was prepared to down tools if the club prevented him from joining Barcelona.

Critics have suggested Liverpool might have been able to keep Coutinho and force him to play despite denying him a move, given his desire to represent Brazil at the World Cup this summer.

Roberto is known for his flexibility and is fit for playing in the two positions which is something that Klopp is searching for. He demonstrated it was in his nature always to give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February?

"The boys really do a lot in their rehab situation and, if we have time, we bring them a little bit later into team training so that they can do a little bit more specific physical work. You have to move on though and Liverpool will always be Liverpool". We know he will help bring energy to Liverpool's midfield and that he is often the catalyst for Klopp's famous gegenpress, but he also needs to contribute goals because very few of the other midfielders look like they can.

He did fantastic in the first half of the season after the things we had to deal with in the summer - the team did fantastic. If you don't miss a person then there would have been something wrong when you were together. But it was clear that's over now and we can not do anymore.

Hazard issued his backing for Coutinho's decision to move to Barcelona despite his success at Liverpool FC. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction.

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The Liverpool manager added: "We only have to carry on".

Chelsea will take on Coutinho's new side in the Champions League round of 16 but the Brazilian will be cup tied for Barcelona.

Despite having three offers rejected by Liverpool last summer, the Blaugrana somewhat surprisingly succeeded in acquiring Coutinho's signature as Ernesto Valverde makes a spirited attempt to craft a side capable of maintaining Barca's place at the pinnacle of the attractive game.

"We don't need to replace him [directly]".

Though City has won 19 of its last 20 Premier League matches, Liverpool has not lost in the last 15 meetings at Anfield against the Blues. "That is all we know". "I knew there would be that process".

With Liverpool at this moment unlikely to buy a replacement in the January transfer window, Coutinho's departure provides an opening for Oxlade-Chamberlain and others to secure more regular football.

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