Klopp bemused by Barca comments on Coutinho – Sturridge could return

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been giving his pre-match press conference ahead of the Anfield Premier League clash v Crystal Palace.

He was asked about Barca general manager Pep Segura's comments last night that a Coutinho deal is close, and responded during the opening exchanges of the press conference:

Q. Are Daniel Sturridge and Phil Coutinho available for selection?

Daniel - yes I would say.  He was part of a complete [training] session and looked good but after injuries you have to wait to how the player is reacting the intensity.  Phil - not available.  Not in training so far so nothing new.

Q. Is that still the back problem?

I think so. I've not been told anything different.  It's always how it is with injured players - it's not really time when he's back.

Q. Barcelona's general manager said 'we are close' What is your reaction.

No reaction.  I saw the game but forgot to watch the interviews afterwards.  Nothing to say from my side.  I don't know why other people are saying what they are saying - especially this guy.  I have never met him so no idea.

Q. Is it fair to say there are no discussions going on with Barcelona?

I'm not sure I have to answer this only because we already said what we have to say.  Or the club said what they have to say. No news from me because nobody has told me anything different since we last spoke last time about this.

Q. There have been reports that Coutinho would be prepared to go on strike. What has his attitude been like?

I have nothing to say about his attitude because since his back problem he has not been in training.  But when I asked the medical department how he was doing they say 'no complaints'.

Q. If he's fit do you expect him to play.

Listen we are all not silly - we know it is a very difficult situation but there is nothing new to say.  Obviously there is interest in a lot of different departments but it's not always easy for me to say 100% the truth even if I don't like to lie but in this case it's exactly how I say it.  That's how it is at the moment.

The reds beat Palace 2-0 in a pre-season friendly in Hong Kong last month but will still be looking to avenge an Anfield Premier League defeat - their last defeat in the competition back in April this year.

Kick off is 3pm on Saturday.

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