Klopp calms concern over Salah’s Liverpool future after outburst

  • Player tweeted ‘no excuse’ for missing Champions League
  • Manager denies Europa League seen as ‘a booby prize’

Jürgen Klopp has said there are no concerns over Mohamed Salah’s future at Liverpool despite the forward’s devastation at missing out on Champions League football next season.

Liverpool’s leading goalscorer made clear his frustration in a strongly worded tweet after Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat of Chelsea on Thursday, a result that confirmed Klopp’s team will not compete in the Champions League for the first time in seven seasons next term. Salah, who signed a new three-year contract last summer, said he was “totally devastated” and “there’s absolutely no excuse for this”.

Klopp claimed Salah was in a good mood the morning after his uncharacteristic outburst on social media and that this season’s disappointment would harden the resolve of everyone at Liverpool to reclaim a place among the European elite.

The Liverpool manager said: “No worries, no [that Salah wants to go]. I couldn’t read anything that could lead in that direction. Obviously Mo loves being here and Mo was part of it. He said apologies for what ‘we’ did – not apologies for ‘what the other guys did, but I had to go with them’. Not at all. It is all fine.

“If ever a player would come to me and say: ‘Oh we didn’t qualify for the Champions League, I have to leave,’ I would drive him to the other club myself. I would take the key, and say: ‘Come in the car, where do you want to go? I’ll drive you.’ That would be something I never could understand. It’s like me saying: ‘We didn’t qualify for the Champions League and I need to work in the Champions League, so I go.’ I am responsible for this mess, or whatever, so you cannot go in these moments.

“It is not the case with Mo, not at all, and nobody else [asked] me. They ask if they can have a day longer holiday but nobody asks me if after the holiday they have to come back. That was not in our conversations.”

Klopp denied Liverpool might consider the Europa League “a booby prize” having reached three Champions League finals on his watch, and insisted the team would give everything to win next year’s final in Dublin.

“What is a booby?” he asked. “I needed to come fifth to learn that word! Not for me. On the level we usually perform it is about Champions League, because of the money, because of the opponents and all this. But I love European competitions. And I know when you play there’s no difference. People may think: ‘It’s just the Europa League’ but I am 100% sure that come the first whistle, Thursday night, whoever is the opponent, Anfield will be rocking. And that is all I need.”

Klopp confirmed Fabio Carvalho may go out on loan next season having made only eight starts in his debut campaign at Liverpool.


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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