Belfast Telegraph

Coutinho's new Liverpool deal fires warning, says Klopp

By Carl Markham

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes the club have made a significant statement in tying down "world-class" Philippe Coutinho to a new contract.

Coutinho has signed a new five-year deal worth £150,000 a week, making him the highest paid player at the club. The 24-year-old Brazil star has been influential this season, helping the side briefly go top of the Premier League in November.

His value to the side was evident when his near seven-week absence with ankle ligament damage coincided with their worst run of the campaign.

His performances had attracted the interest of Barcelona but the playmaker's decision to stick with Liverpool is a major coup.

"I think everyone knows what a great footballer Phil is - but not everyone sees what an incredibly positive character he," Klopp said. "Since arriving here I have not only witnessed his ability up close, but also his ever-continuing development.

"He is truly world-class - in that very top bracket. He knows he can fulfil his dreams and ambitions here at Liverpool. This is a big statement."

Coutinho, who joined from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2013, said: "Jurgen is a great manager. We all can see how much he has changed here since he arrived -and how much he will change in future. He is a winner.

"Every player feels honoured to play at this great club for this great manager. Ever since my arrival, I was welcomed with open arms. I can only thank every supporter for their faith in me. I really hope to repay them. I will do my very best on the pitch and win trophies and titles."

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