London - Philippe Coutinho has been left out of Liverpool's squad to face
Manchester City this weekend over his fitness but manager Jurgen Klopp
said the Brazilian did nothing "unforgivable" during Barcelona's pursuit
The playmaker, who returned from international duty this
week, was linked with a move to the Catalan giants following the
departure of his compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain but Liverpool
refused to budge.
Coutinho has not yet played for Liverpool this
season, with the club citing a back injury, but he joined up with his
national side for World Cup qualifiers and made two substitute
appearances against Ecuador and Colombia, scoring against the former.
however, has not been enough to prove his fitness to Klopp, who
stressed that fitness was the only reason why the 25-year-old would not
be lining up at the Etihad on Saturday.
"I can explain it a little - maybe a few of you have had a split in a good relationship, with
your wife or whatever, and it is not good to think about the time you
were split," said Klopp.
"It was not the most easy time, but that
is the transfer window. It is not the first time and it won't be the
last time in history when similar things will happen."
think we handled it really well," Klopp added. "Not all the things in
newspapers were 100 percent right but it is normal a lot of things were
coming up in a situation like this.
"But nothing I am aware of was
unforgivable. The most important thing is no one told me anything where
I thought 'Oh, that is too much'.
"He came in yesterday, accepted 100 percent the situation - I didn't even have to say anything about it."
Klopp praised Coutinho's attitude, saying he was in a good mood and training had been positive.
he went to Brazil he couldn't train for about three weeks so that means
we need to try to prepare him for the rest of the season and that is
quite difficult with our schedule," said Klopp.
"So I decided to leave him out of the squad for City so we can use these four or five days for proper training."
who thumped Arsenal 4-0 in their last match before the international
break, are second in the Premier League after three matches, with two
wins and a draw.
Pep Guardiola's big-spending City have the same number of points but trail Liverpool on goal difference.