Klopp urges Liverpool stars to beat Everton and ignore Barcelona’s £140m Coutinho bid
Barca are set to pay up to £140m to land Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho.
Barcelona are ready to make a fourth offer for the Liverpool star and are prepared to smash the British transfer record to make it happen.
25 year-old Coutinho is interested in making the deal happen and get chance to play for the Spanish club.
The report comes with Klop’s side ready to face Everton tonight in the FA Cup third round at Anfield.
But Liverpool’s manager has no fears about his players getting distracted by the Coutinho transfer drama ahead of the Merseyside derby.
Klopp refused to be drawn on the future of Coutinho – who will not be available at the Cup clash with a thigh injury – but insists the team will not lose focus because of the transfer talk.
He said: “Sometimes they are in the middle of the story and sometimes they are sat next to the guy in the dressing room who is in the middle of the story.
“These young boys are used to this from a really early age and are used to ignoring things around them. If they are smart enough they ignore most of it.
“All the stories around are no problem. This story is not around since yesterday. It has been around since the summer and did you at any moment get the impression this team is distracted because of transfer rumours? No.
“We are focused on what we have an influence on. All the rest we have to ignore. It is clear there is a lot of excitement around.”
Klopp’s insisted his side will not be distracted and backed by the fact the Reds were unbeaten in five games in August when the speculation started and the 25-year-old was out with a back complaint.
Despite Philippe Coutinho believing he has played his last game for the club, Klopp is confident he will be fit to face Manchester City on Sunday week.
But there is a growing belief that Liverpool’s stance has softened significantly since last summer.
The club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, went as far as issuing a statement to say Coutinho was not for sale at any price even after he handed in a transfer request.
This time they have remained silent even after Barcelona’s kit manufacturers Nike released an advert offering Coutinho’s name on the Catalan side’s shirts.
Klopp said: “In football, in the world of news, the next day they will chase another pig in the village. That is a German saying.
“And all the stories around? You cannot imagine how cool life is when ignoring them. They are not important. They are entertaining.”
Liverpool will be without top scorer Mohamed Salah, who has a groin injury, tonight. He travelled to Ghana for the African football awards last night with team-mate Sadio Mane, who will be assessed on his return this morning.
Klopp will also decide today if record signing Virgil van Dijk is ready to make his debut in the heart of the Liverpool defence.
“Really, my first job is to prepare the healthy fit players for the next game,” said Klopp. “That is my first job.
“I am not the chancellor of Liverpool FC and have to talk about all the other things before saying ‘By the way, can we play football as well?’ We play football.
“All the rest we talk about when there is something to say and all the rest at the minute is speculation.
“If nothing happens I will not talk about this until the January 31 and then it might not be interesting anymore.”