Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp issues hands off warning to Barcelona regarding Philippe Coutinho

Jürgen Klopp issued a warning to Barcelona in the aftermath of Liverpool's pre-season victory over Leicester City on Saturday, telling the Spanish giants that Philippe Coutinho was not for sale.

The game against Palace, which Liverpool won 2-1, had been somewhat overshadowed by the news of Barcelona's £72million bid for Coutinho, which had been rejected out of hand.

Not for sale

Having watched his Brazilian star score and assist against the Foxes, it was no surprise that Klopp was questioned about his future after the game.

Telling the press that, "If I say he is not for selling, he is not for selling," Klopp demonstrated a firm stance that Liverpool will have to keep up if they're to keep their key man this summer.

Liverpool fans may have reason to be concerned given recent years which have seen them lose the likes of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling.

Commenting on those departures specifically, Klopp said; "With Suarez I was far away. When the club sold Sterling I was maybe the last to know. So those situations have nothing to do with this one.

"We are approaching a very important moment and we want to get better. For this we have to keep our key players. So that's the answer."

Klopp has spoken to Coutinho

If Klopp is to deliver on that statement and have Coutinho available for selection come September, it will be important to keep the player on side as much as possible.

It was reported that, whilst Barcelona prepared a bumper second bid, the 25-year-old was spoken to by his manager on Friday night about his future.

It's understood that Klopp addressed the speculation directly to Coutinho, informing him that the club would not be open to the idea of selling him this summer whatever the price.

Telling the media that what he told his player wasn't for public discussion, Klopp did explain that he's well aware of Coutinho's love for Liverpool and the city he lives in. Whether that news is good enough for Liverpool fans, remains to be seen.