Mane: Klopp held back Coutinho exit in key chat about Liverpool worries

Date published: Thursday 14th May 2020 9:48

Philippe Coutinho: Linked with a summer switch to Real Madrid

Liverpool winger Sadio Mane has said that he was not informed of Philippe Coutinho’s impending exit when he approached manager Jurgen Klopp about concerns over his own game time.

Mane has become arguably Liverpool’s best player in the past season-and-a-half, coming up with countless match-winning contributions including the late winner over Aston Villa in November.

However, while Mane has rarely failed to provide an attacking spark for the Reds, his form in the first half of the 2017/18 campaign dipped while Mohamed Salah – fresh from his arrival from Roma – and Roberto Firmino were scoring for fun.

Indeed, Mane was dropped for a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield and Klopp then held a chat with the Senegal international after a draw with Everton.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo about that particular discussion, Mane said he was filled with renewed confidence by Klopp but was not told of Coutinho’s exit.

“[Klopp] said he had confidence in me, and that with time I would play to the point of exhaustion,” Mane said.

“Even so, I told him I wanted to play.

“Klopp said he had to rotate his squad. There was also the fact Coutinho was close to leaving and he didn’t want to tell me that straight out.”

 

Brazil international Coutinho had been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona since the summer of 2017 and Liverpool even put out a statement insisting that they would be keeping hold of the player for the foreseeable future.

However, the midfielder’s departure to Barca was eventually confirmed in January 2018 but he has struggled at the LaLiga giants, spending this season on loan at Bayern Munich.

In other news, a reported Liverpool target is not in talks with his club over a contract renewal.

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