Coutinho injury ‘forces Liverpool to up interest in £30m target’

Date published: Tuesday 29th November 2016 9:35

Liverpool are reportedly ready to make a firm January bid for one of their long-term targets in the wake of Philippe Coutinho’s injury lay-off.

The Reds confirmed on Monday evening that the Brazil playmaker faces around six weeks on the sidelines after sustaining ankle ligament damage in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Although the player is expected to return to action by mid-January, they will also lose Sadio Mane around that time with the Senegalese star needed for African Cup of Nations duty.

That has lead to reports that Jurgen Klopp will look to plug the gap in his side by making another firm bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic.

The Anfield club have been keeping tabs on the 18-year-old attacking midfielder, having failed to lure him to Anfield over the summer.

Dortmund, however, won’t allow the player to leave without a fight with Pulisic having featured regularly this term in the Bundesliga and Champions League, showing his talent in attack.

But that won’t dissuade Klopp, according to the Daily Mail, who say he is prepared to pay up to £30million to land the USA international, who can play on either wing or behind the striker.

Klopp on Coutinho injury

Philippe Coutinho: Stretchered off in Sunderland win

Speaking about Coutinho’s injury, Klopp insisted Liverpool would have to cope.

“Phil Coutinho is a really good football player so if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks each team in the world would feel it,” he said.

“But it is no excuse for anything. As good as he is he does not decide games by himself, although it sometimes looks like this.

“It is a team performance we create and he is a very important part of this team, absolutely.

“Of course we can handle it. If he is not in you have to show – and we will show.

“Phil’s not in, Adam’s [Lallana] close but not in, Daniel’s [Sturridge] close but not in – all quality players and we miss them but you don’t look for excuses.

“We like to play football and I think the way we play it is possible without them but it would be better when they are all fit.”

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