The Spanish giants’ overt courtship of Klopp’s star playmaker, which reportedly resulted in the 25-year old submitting a transfer request on Friday, has thrown the Reds manager’s preparations into such disarray that he strongly hinted that the sale will not be considered at any price.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp, who is no stranger to losing key players to more affluent rivals, said that he does not oppose the move in principle, but could not consider it due to its timing.
“I had to sell a lot of players in my managerial career,” Klopp said. “Some had clauses, some had no clauses. We had the [Robert] Lewandowski thing and that was difficult when he went to Bayern on a free transfer. A lot of different things.
“The only thing I can say about this is that in life everything is about timing, whichever club asks early enough. It’s like how we try to do it,” he continued, referring to Liverpool’s early maneuvering in the transfer period. “If we ask early enough, we try to do it.
“If you ask early enough, you can either switch the plan of whatever. But you cannot come up, close to the start of the season and things like this,” he added.
“It’s like I said: the club is bigger than anybody. That is the most important thing. It’s about doing it in the right moment. It’s how we do it when we want to bring players in. Most of the other clubs won’t come to us and say ‘by the way, we have a good player, do you want to buy him?’