Jurgen Klopp rules out Liverpool return for Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho: 'It's just not possible'

'It would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it's not our year for that'

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Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a return to Liverpool for Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian has failed to nail down a regular starting berth in Ernesto Valverde's side or win over the Camp Nou faithful since his switch from Anfield for £142 million (Dh650m) in January 2018.

It is reported that the Spanish champions are looking to trim their squad by offloading the 27-year-old, with rumours of a return to the Premier League to a club he spent four-and-a-half years at circulating over the summer.

Klopp, however, poured cold water over those rumours, saying that although any side would be lucky to have a player of Coutinho's talents in their squad, bringing him back to Liverpool this year was "just not possible".

"In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still - 100 per cent," Klopp told ESPN FC before Liverpool wrapped up their pre-season tour of the United States with a 2-2 draw against Portuguese club Sporting in New York on Wednesday. "It's not about that. I like Phil, I think he's a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it's not our year for that.

"It's just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better - us included - but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona.

"Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that.

"If everything was true what newspapers write about me - wow! If it's similar to what they write about me, I would say he's completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever."

It remains to be seen if Coutinho features in Barca's plans for the 2019/20 season. The midfielder has been granted extended leave after helping Brazil win the Copa America on home soil this summer, and the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for €120m could see him fall further down the pecking order.

Liverpool finished runners-up in the Premier League last term and won the Uefa Champions League after beating English rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the June 1 final in Madrid.

The Anfield club ended their pre-season tour of the US with a 2-2 draw against Sporting at the Yankee Stadium.

The sides shared the Western Union Cup after the scores remained tied at the final whistle in New York.

The friendly saw the long-awaited debut for Liverpool's summer signing Sepp Van Den Berg after he was granted international clearance by Fifa.

The 17-year-old Dutchman, who arrived last month from PEC Zwolle for an initial £1.3 million fee, was brought on in the 89th minute.