LIVERPOOL — Jurgen Klopp insists the speculation around Philippe Coutinho’s future is not a distraction for his Liverpool side as they prepare to take on Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.

Liverpool face their local rivals at Anfield on Friday night without Coutinho, who is sidelined with a thigh injury according to his manager.

Barcelona continue to court Liverpool’s Brazilian playmaker, amid reports they are preparing a £142 million move, but Klopp has stressed that the saga will have no impact on his players against Sam Allardyce’s side.

“They are professional football players. Sometimes they are in the middle of the story and sometimes they are sat next to the guy in the dressing room who is in the middle of the story,” he said.

“These young boys are used to this from a really early age and are used to ignoring things around them. If they are smart enough they ignore most of it. If you need somebody from the press to tell you after the game whether you were good or not then already something is wrong.

“All the stories around are no problem. This story is not around since yesterday. It has been around since the summer and did you at any moment get the impression this team is distracted because of transfer rumours? No. We are focused on what we can have an influence on. All the rest we have to ignore. It is clear there is a lot of excitement around.”

In the summer, where Barcelona had three bids rejected for Coutinho, Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, issued a statement declaring the 25-year-old would not be sold under any circumstance.

However, Klopp insisted he had “nothing to say” on Coutinho’s future at a news conference on Thursday, while the player, himself, has remained non-committal.

Coutinho even appeared as a Barcelona player on Nike’s website earlier this week, but Klopp says he was not “interested” in the gaffe.

“The importance of it I will never get. In the world of news, the next day they will chase another pig through the village,” the Liverpool manager continued. “That is a German saying. You talk about today and then tomorrow this.

“What can I say about Nike? I do not know any person from Nike to tell them it is not OK you do something like that. It is not my cup of tea. I am not interested.

“I am interested in what we do and what is best for us. It can be this way or that way. And all the stories around? You can not imagine how cool life is when ignoring them. They are entertaining but not important.”