Football: Liverpool stars not for sale, says Jurgen Klopp amid Philippe Coutinho speculation

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp attends a press conference of the Premier League Asia Trophy football tournament in Hong Kong on July 21, 2017.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp attends a press conference of the Premier League Asia Trophy football tournament in Hong Kong on July 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Jurgen Klopp has declared Liverpool will not part with their best players as speculation continues over the future of midfielder Philippe Coutinho amid a proposed move to Barcelona.

The Spanish side are believed to have made a £70 million (S$124.05 million) bid to sign the Brazilian this summer, but the German manager stressed none of his squad were for sale.

"I'm not surprised but it's not a compliment," he said of interest in one of his key players. "It's not that I need it but a few people obviously see that Liverpool have a few good players. So, that's how it is.

"But, a very important message - maybe we're not a selling club. That's how it is.

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"We believe in working together, we believe in development together, we believe in using the basis that we want to work together, we want to make the next step together and for this we need to stay together."

Coutinho was a standout performer for Liverpool last season as Klopp's team put in a strong challenge for the Premier League title before eventually slipping to fourth and securing a place in the qualification rounds of the Champions League.

Klopp, however, is hoping for more from the 25-year-old as Liverpool chase a first league title since 1990.

"Phil can improve, he has inconsistency, but there's no doubting his qualities," he said.