Jurgen Klopp: Mohamed Salah 100 per cent committed to Liverpool and sale after Premier League transfer window closes would be a catastrophe | Football News


The future of Mohamed Salah looms over Liverpool’s training ground when Sky Sports arrives on Friday morning.

There has been no offer from Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad but a flurry of reports on Thursday afternoon, saying they are willing to go “all out” to do a deal to sign the Anfield icon, has spread nerves among the Liverpool fanbase.

But boss Jurgen Klopp is keeping his composure.

“There’s a lot going on around us but that’s it,” he says as he sits down for an exclusive interview. “There’s speculation and I think that’s completely normal at this moment in time.”

Is Salah also keeping his cool?

Liverpool have a tough trip to Newcastle, live on Sky Sports on Sunday, and need their talisman to be sharp. A goal and assist in his first two games of this Premier League campaign suggest he’s as hungry as ever; the fact he is now up to 200 goal involvements for the club a reminder of his importance.

But the vast sums Al Ittihad are reported to be prepared to pay could easily be a distraction.

“Mo is a super experienced player and 100 per cent committed to us here, to the club,” says Klopp adamantly, when asked about whether Salah’s focus could be affected. “No, I don’t worry about that to be honest.”

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith and Vinny O’Connor reflect on their interviews with Jurgen Klopp following reports Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad are to bid for Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool have of course profited from the emergence of the Saudi Pro League’s spending power this summer. The sales of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho brought in over £50m, boosting the finances needed to rebuild the Reds’ midfield.

But those deals were done during pre-season, with Liverpool given time to reinvest. The Salah speculation has come with a week of the Premier League transfer window to go and with Saudi clubs able to continue recruiting until September 7, that is a major issue for Klopp.

“A normal club in the Premier League or in other leagues, it’s always possible that a big club comes in and wants players off you. Now that market is extended,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m worried about it or not, we will have to see.

“We have our own experience with it, with Hendo and Fabinho. But in general, what is a real problem is the longer transfer window.

“It’s a real problem because as long as you have the chance to react it’s pretty much part of the business a little bit.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Mo Salah is not for sale and insists there is no truth in the rumours he has attracted bids from clubs based in Saudi Arabia

“When we can’t react anymore it’s a catastrophe. That’s the truth.

“That’s why I asked already, a few weeks ago, the authorities to maybe have a look at that would be really bad if they can just pick players.”

The coming weeks will be intriguing, with the future of Liverpool’s star man in the spotlight and the club’s resolve to keep him likely to be tested.

But the Salah situation clouds what has otherwise been an encouraging start to a project which Klopp has called ‘LFC rebooted’.

A draw at Chelsea on the opening weekend was followed by a win at home over Bournemouth and victory at Newcastle would add momentum and belief to a team looking refreshed and rejuvenated after their struggles of last season.

One of the new arrivals who sums up that re-found thrust is Dominik Szoboszlai.

Liverpool’s Szoboszlai has impressed in his opening appearances for the club

No Liverpool player ran further or faster than the 22-year-old against Bournemouth. He topped his team’s stats for dribbles and sprints and only Andy Robertson had more touches. He won a penalty and saw Diogo Jota hit the net from his saved shot.

It was an impressive Anfield debut and one which has immediately made the Hungarian popular with Liverpool supporters.

He is a player who seems a perfect fit for Klopp’s style – and the head coach is excited about Szoboszlai’s potential.

“His energy, combined with technique, desire… pretty much all attributes you want to see,” said Klopp when asked what he liked about the midfielder.

“The last thing you would think when you see him playing is that he is only 22. So there’s a lot more to come, when he settles in.

Dominik Szoboszlai has been a standout player on the right side of Liverpool’s midfield so far this season – a deeper role to the one he played at RB Leipzig

“Obviously he has no problem to adapt to everything in an instant. There’s still more to come and we are really pleased. From the first day he is full of energy, in the middle of the team already.

“He just loves playing this kind of football. I think he plays a different position to what he played at RB Leipzig, for example, but with his skillset he can probably play higher up the pitch as well.

“He has the speed to pass players. He has the technique, he has the finishing skills – we didn’t even see them yet properly, but his shooting is really special.

“We put him now slightly deeper and more in the game. He obviously enjoys that a lot and he’s doing well. He’s doing really well.”

Klopp on Mac Allister’s rescinded red card

“I’m very pleased. I was sure it was not a red card but I was not sure that our appeal would be successful because that’s the way it goes usually.
But this time I think it was really obvious.

Imagine that would’ve been a red card – that would’ve meant for the rest of the season, contact on the pitch and players go off!

We got already a 40-minute suspension. We should not forget that. It made the game much more difficult, much more intense. Yes, we score the third goal, which was very helpful, but we had to really go through something in that game and that was not cool.

Ibou [Konate] will not be available for the weekend. So that could be because of that, because it was super intense and so he felt his muscles slightly. So that’s the way it goes.

“The ref saw it in that moment. It’s football, it’s very fast, it’s really difficult. I don’t blame him at all for that.”

Klopp’s Diaz delight: ‘We missed him like crazy!’

Klopp had positive things to say about his other summer signings, Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo, too. But he lights up when Luis Diaz’s form is mentioned.

The winger, who has scored against both Chelsea and Bournemouth, will make his 50th appearance for Liverpool if he gets on the pitch at St James’ Park this weekend. But despite that total of games, his impact at the start of this season feels like that of a new signing.

The knee injury he suffered at the Emirates Stadium last season extended into a six-month lay-off. It was a brutal blow for a player who had worked so hard for his big move to Liverpool and started his time with the club in such electric fashion.

But now the future is bright and after what Klopp calls “a horrible year” for the Colombian, Diaz looks primed to play a key role in this Liverpool reboot.

“We missed him last year like crazy,” says Klopp. “That was a bad day at Arsenal and what happened that day. We all knew in that moment that losing a player like him is not helpful.

“Having him back, you can see the impact he has immediately. A top player.

Luis Diaz has two goals in two games this season after a long injury layoff last year

“The goal he scored [against Bournemouth] I’m not sure I saw plenty of them, to be honest. Passing into the centre and the player tries to control the ball, but he knew before the first touch already what he wants to do with the second. So that showed his finishing skills as well.

“Besides that, he has obviously the speed and the dribbling and, coming inside and shooting and passing… for the way we want to play, super important. Fantastic player.

“When Lucho arrived here, the whole world got aware of his special story, how long he was hidden somewhere until finally the football world got aware of him. And then from that moment on it went really quick.

“So I think he appreciates a lot the situation he’s in now, that he’s in the right club for him definitely, and everybody cares for him and is really thinking of him a lot.

“It was a horrible year. But now let’s, leave that behind us and just be positive.”

That seems to be the overarching feeling at Liverpool right now: a team keen to put their problems of the past behind them and kick on towards the exciting opportunities ahead.

There will be new challenges to overcome – with Salah’s future among them – but Klopp is looking ahead with optimism.

Watch Newcastle vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm.

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