Philippe Coutinho Absent From Liverpool’s Champions League Opener

Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool on the bench during the Audi Cup 2017 match between Liverpool FC and Atletico Madrid at Allianz Arena on August 2, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Liverpool’s wantaway star Philippe Coutinho has not travelled with the club to Germany where they will face Hoffenheim in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Tuesday night.

Philippe Coutinho Absent From Champions League Opener

The Red’s number ten, who has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, also missed Saturday’s encounter with Watford through a back injury.

Coutinho was also absent from training last week before handing in a transfer request on Friday of which was quickly rejected by Liverpool.

The Reds have also turned down a £90.4million bid from the Spanish giants in the hopes of retaining Coutinho’s services for at least one more season but the Brazilian is keen to leave the Merseyside club.

Speaking prior to Liverpool’s league opener at Watford on Saturday, manager Jurgen Klopp claimed that the decision to sell the 25-year-old is out of his hands and the owners will have the final say whether to let him go to Spain:

“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.” (The Independent)

His exclusion from the squad increases speculation surrounding a move away from the club due to the fact if was to play on Tuesday night, he would then be cup tied for Barcelona’s European games if he is to move there.

The Brazilian is also joined by Daniel Sturridge, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana in those who have not travelled to Germany with the side.

Liverpool’s 22-man squad will include former Hoffenheim star Roberto Firmino, youngster Ryan Kent and new signing Andrew Robertson.

Tuesday night will see The Reds play Champions League football for the first time since December 2014 where a 1-1 draw with Basel wasn’t enough to secure qualification to the knockout stages.

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