English Premiership

Henderson 'can't influence' wantaway Coutinho

2017-08-14 22:38
Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)

Hoffenheim - Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admitted Monday that he is powerless to influence Philippe Coutinho's thinking, after the Brazilian reportedly submitted a transfer request on Friday.

Jurgen Klopp's men are in Germany ahead of Tuesday's first leg of their Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim and Coutinho, who has a back injury, did not travel with the squad.

"It is obviously a difficult situation for Phil. Whatever I say will not help the situation but as players, we are fully focused on the game," Henderson told an eve-of-game press conference.

"As players, you expect things in the transfer window to happen and players come and go.

"Of course, if you ask everyone, they want Phil to stay as he is a world-class player. I have had conversations with Phil, it is private, (but) I don't think I can influence the situation.

"I am close to him and I have a lot of respect for him, but everything that happens is nothing to do with me."

Klopp, who insisted that he would not think about Coutinho while the player is unfit to play, returns to his home country, where he built his career during spells in charge of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.

The Reds coach insisted that it would be a tricky encounter for his side, against a Hoffenheim outfit led by the impressive Julian Nagelsmann, who became the Bundesliga's youngest-ever coach last year at the age of 28.

"I'm delighted for my agent," smiled Klopp, who shares an agent with Nagelsmann.

"I'm growing older, I'm an old horse, he's young. He plays very good football and is a good example of a young and promising coach in Germany."

Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino, arguably Liverpool's key player without his compatriot Coutinho, is back at the Rhein-Neckar Arena, where he played for four and a half seasons.

Right-back Nathaniel Clyne, midfielder Adam Lallana and striker Daniel Sturridge are all also injured and did not make the trip.

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