Liverpool leave out Coutinho for Man City match

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has yet to feature for Liverpool this season

Midfielder Philippe Coutinho has been left out of Liverpool’s squad to face Manchester City on Saturday.

Coutinho, 25, has returned to the club after making two substitute appearances for Brazil in World Cup qualifiers.

He has missed the start of the Reds’ campaign with a back injury amid interest from Barcelona.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “I decided to leave him out of the squad for City so we can use the time for extra training. He agreed.”

The Reds turned down three offers from the Spanish giants for Coutinho – who had made a transfer request – and maintain he was not for sale.

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.

Coutinho has resumed training with the rest of the Liverpool squad, but Klopp said he would not feature in Saturday’s Premier League game at Etihad Stadium (12:30 BST kick-off).

“We have got all the numbers [on Coutinho] from the Brazilian FA – the training, the intensity of the training, stuff like that, and it was all OK. And he played twice – I think about 15 or 20 minutes,” said Klopp.

“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].

“He agreed completely, so it was not as if he said: ‘No, I don’t need training, I want to play.’ It was a good conversation.”