Barca’s general manager claimed they are close to signing the 25-year-old and Ousmane Dembele after Spanish Super Cup loss to Real Madrid
JURGEN KLOPP has slammed Barcelona’s claim that a deal is “close” for Philippe Coutinho.
Barca chief Pep Segura revealed he “expects” the Spanish giants to sign Coutinho and Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele.
But Klopp hit back on Thursday and took a swipe at general manager Segura, who worked for Liverpool between 2009 and 2012, by stating the Reds are not even talking to them.
And Klopp even mocked the former Anfield academy director by claiming he didn’t even know who he was.
The German fumed: “I don’t know why other people are saying what they are saying.
“I don’t even know them – especially this guy, I’ve never even met him.
“We have said what we have to say, or the club said what we have to say.
“No news from me because no-one told me anything different since we spoke last time about this.”
Reds have dismissed Barca’s bids of £72million and £91m and rejected a transfer request from Coutinho – who will miss Saturday’s home game with Crystal Palace due to a back injury.
Klopp added: “I asked the medical department how he is doing and there are no complaints so that is how it is. There is nothing bad to say about this.
“We are all not silly. We know it is a very difficult situation but there is nothing new to say.
“It is not always easy for me to say the 100 per cent truth – even though I don’t like to lie – but it is exactly how I say it because that is how it is in the moment, nothing else.”
After Barca’s Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid, Segura said: “We are close to Coutinho and Dembele.
“We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done.”
Asked if he expected them to sign, Segura added: “Yes, we expect it.”
But fellow Barcelona chief Robert Fernandez says the deal for Coutinho is more difficult because he does not have a release clause.
The sporting director said: “Any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market.
“Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clauses so that makes things trickier.
“Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.
“Dembele and Coutinho are two important players that we like a lot and have done for a long time. They have the conditions, the right age and could adapt to our football. They would be good to have here.”
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke also hit out at Segura’s claims.
Watzke said: “I don’t know why he said that. Barcelona is not one step closer to signing Dembele.
“I can not explain what he is telling me. Maybe it’s because Real played his team dizzy in the Super Cup.
“Nothing has advanced, not even by a millimetre.”
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