International breaks lead to transfer rumours. Without club matches to cover, more column inches and digital ink gets taken up by rumour and speculation. After all, something has to go there. Even if that something, most of the time, is highly speculative at best and wholly made up at worst.
And for Liverpool fans, November’s international break was a bad one, with wall to wall talk about the future of star midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who was off wowing fans with Brazil and getting linked to Barcelona. Jürgen Klopp, though, says he’s not concerned by the transfer talk.
“My feeling is he fits really well here,” said the Liverpool manager. “We all hope and think his future is here. What everybody forgets when you think about Phil is he’s still very young. So everybody says here is the player we’ve always dreamed about but he’s still 24, still young and a long way to go.
“There’s still a lot of room for development. He’s now at the age where his skills, combined with the experience he earned in the past, give him more consistency. That’s it. And with his teammates around him, he’s getting better and better. He’s just started, not finished, I’m sure of it.”
Klopp went on to discuss Daniel Sturridge, who has also been linked with a move away during the international break, insisting that he thinks his future is at the club just as Coutinho’s is and pointing to the player’s happiness and “attitude in training” following his return from international duty.
In both cases, the Liverpool manager insisted that the players’ futures are at Anfield, that the club’s owners haven’t been the issue in the recent past when some have pushed for the exits, and that the goal now is to create a club that no player could imagine wanting to leave.
“The club is not a problem, our owners are not a problem,” Klopp added. “It is about creating the perspective that no one wants to leave. At this moment I am not worried about anything. The players like to be here and it is our job to make sure it stays like this.”