Without Coutinho, Klopp's Liverpool looks to bring down City


"Liverpool is no longer the same without you my magical brother", Firmino wrote.

Coutinho dazzled Anfield and the Premier League for five-years in a Liverpool shirt, but his £150 million move to Barcelona, a move he has called a "dream", is now complete.

Slowly but surely, Klopp is creating a team capable of becoming a genuine force in both England and Europe - patience has been required, but it is paying off.

Add to this a dip in his performances and a reticence to continue learning German - preferring to improve his English instead - it's easy to see why Leipzig may be looking at bringing in a better-motivated player.

I scored on my Anfield debut for Liverpool - a header, too - and it was the best feeling in the world. With the possible addition of Thomas Lemar and Leon Goretzka this month it appears that Liverpool may have finally put together the pieces that are necessary for them to truly compete for the title under Klopp. It is on a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Keita has scored five goals for Leipzig, and assisted another, in all competitions so far this season, but it is his disciplinary record side has Rolfes anxious.

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I have been speaking to contacts around Liverpool to gauge how else they will move on from losing their Magic Man, and many expect the funds to go towards Klopp's long-term plan.

If a deal is agreed for Keita in the winter window, he will become the most expensive player in Liverpool's history.

Liverpool are in official contact with RB Leipzig as they attempt to bring forward Naby Keïta's arrival as Philippe Coutinho's replacement.

Should they fall out of the top four come the end of the season and go into the summer trophy-less, that situation may well have changed.

To suddenly have Van Dijk, Keita and Roberto Firmino down the centre of the pitch, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also in the team, would give Liverpool a truly formidable spine for the first time in years.

The absence of Coutinho this weekend will only help that quest.