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Man City vs. Liverpool all about absentees Sterling and Coutinho

10 September 2017

Ragnar Klavan is average at best, Nathaniel Clyne has been excluded from the side's Champions League squad, as his current back injury is expected to keep him out for a majority of the season, and Alberto Moreno is simply too error-prone.

Coutinho trained with his team-mates at Melwood last week in the lead-up to Liverpool's clash with Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon - but was not included in the squad for the game.

But Liverpool rejected three bids for the 25-year-old and a transfer evaporated.

Brazil legend Ronaldinho thinks that Liverpool have nothing to fear with regards to the commitment of Philippe Coutinho, who submitted a transfer request this summer but ultimately failed to push through a move to Barcelona.

He scored in a 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Ecuador last Friday, and also came on during Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Colombia.

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Cape Town - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed he had a positive conversation with Philippe Coutinho on the playmaker's return to training on Thursday. "It's not the first time here and it won't be the last time".

"I can not assure even the best players we have, like Sergio [Aguero] and other ones, that they are going to play". We tried a lot, even after we shook hands and they then said "no", we insist and we met the father and the managers, and then other managers, and with him, but if the player says "no no no no no", what can we do?

"I can't stop calling him Prince of Wales!"

We got all the numbers from the Brazilian FA around the training and the intensity of training, it was all OK, but he played twice around about 15 or 20 minutes.

The winger has been linked with a move away from City in recent reports, but from the manager's standpoint, he is still very much a wanted player at the club.

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"They were fantastic at Bournemouth and we celebrated a bit together at the end and now I want to give them my best the whole season".

"Nothing else to say, actually, so he's back and we had a really good conversation, so good".

"He could have played 15, 20 minutes again in the City game, maybe longer, but I think really it makes sense [to leave him out]".

In the transfer window, City winger Raheem Sterling was proposed as part of a swap deal involving Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. I said, 'Where are you?' He just wants to develop as a player and with all his talent and skills he has space to do that.

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Man City vs. Liverpool all about absentees Sterling and Coutinho