Jurgen Klopp insists the situation regarding Philippe Coutinho is now completely under the control of the club’s Fenway Sports Group owners.
After seeing their opening bid of £72million turned away by Liverpool, Barcelona have since returned with an improved offer of £90million, only to see their efforts once again rejected.
The Catalan giants are now expected to tempt the Reds with a fee potentially upwards of £100million as they look to secure their first choice replacement for Neymar, who recently left for Paris Saint-Germain.
A third approach is likely to be fuelled by a greater confidence on the La Liga club’s side after Friday saw Coutinho hand in a transfer request as he looks to push for a dream move to the Nou Camp.
Discussing the situation after Liverpool’s 3-3 draw against Watford, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo: “If I was upset, I’d tell the player himself. I didn’t get it (the transfer request) but I can say something that’s more important.”
“As a manager of a football club, I have bosses. That decide, for example, just in general, if we sell a player or we don’t sell him. Then I have to accept it.”
“If they don’t sell him, then I am not involved any more. I’m responsible for all of our players, not just one or two or three, but all of them.”
“I can’t say anything about it, the only thing is I work with the players I have. That’s what I’m always doing.”
“How can it change something for me? I didn’t make the decision. You have to ask the club. I didn’t see the club insiders today. You have to ask them.”
“I don’t think (it changes anything). It was pretty clear what the club said about it. That’s all.”
Prior to Coutinho’s transfer request, FSG had released a statement reaffirming their stance that the No.10 would not be sold for any price this summer.
It seems unlikely they would abandon such a stern insistence so easily, although the player’s desire to move on now gives the owners a serious fight on their hands.
The 25-year-old was absent for Liverpool’s opening weekend trip to Vicarage Road due to a back injury and, despite reporting to training at Melwood on Saturday, is also expected to miss Tuesday’s Champions League playoff first leg away to Hoffenheim.
It is the dreadful position every club fears finding itself in, especially Liverpool. That said, Luis Suarez was adamant he was leaving one summer a few years ago, only to change his mind and take the Reds agonisingly close to the Premier League title the next season. Things can change.
It seems as though it’s down to FSG now.