Liverpool: Klopp responds to Salah transfer comments
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and manager Jurgen Klopp have drawn up a plan alongside the rest of the club’s recruitment staff for the January transfer window with it unlikely the Premier League champions will do much business, per reports.
Ahead of their penultimate match of 2020 against West Brom, the Reds are four points clear of second-placed Leicester atop the top-flight table.
Despite losing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries and suffering a spate of other knocks, niggles and COVID-19 cases, Klopp’s side have held strong.
At the base of defence, Joel Matip and Fabinho have deputised excellently for the German manager’s first-choice pairing.
Meanwhile the inexperienced back-ups of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also performed well in place of Van Dijk and Gomez.
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Elsewhere, academy graduate Curtis Jones has enjoyed a stellar run of form in central midfield with Liverpool having battled with the absences of Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Thiago Alcantara at times.
The health of the Merseyside outfit’s squad is improving with it hoped Thiago will return in the New Year, although Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri remain sidelined, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas are both likely out until February and Van Dijk and Gomez are battling to play again this season.
Despite the spate of injuries Liverpool have suffered, Klopp and Edwards are agreed in their thinking that major deals are not necessary in the winter window.
Liverpool used the mid-season market to sign Takumi Minamino 12 months ago while Van Dijk arrived from Southampton in a club-record £75million deal back in January 2018.
Yet the Liverpool Echo say that any deals next month at Anfield are unlikely and certainly there are no plans to do any significant business, therefore ruling out a deal for a big-money defender such as RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
Klopp and co are confident they can get by without Van Dijk and Gomez despite Matip’s history of fitness woes at the club.
In addition to Phillips and Williams, Liverpool rate Billy Koumetio highly and the 18-year-old recently made his first-team debut in a Champions League clash with FC Midtjylland.
With Milner and Shaqiri hopeful of returns from injury in the near future, only any other serious injuries would provoke a change of plans from Liverpool.
Player departures could also force Klopp to make a move but no major exits are forthcoming, it appears, despite Mohamed Salah recently flirting publicly with a potential future move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Gini Wijnaldum’s contract expires in a little over six months’ time but it appears that there are no plans for the Dutchman to leave before the end of the season with Barca known admirers of the midfielder.
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Speaking back in November, Klopp had said of the possibility of January deals: “If we can do something in January I have no idea.
“If we want to do something in January I have no idea. We’ll just have to see. That we look for solutions and the transfer market – that is clear – but in the moment we have the situation we have.
“I don’t want to compare situations but when I came to Dortmund in 2008 my two centre-halves were 19 and turned 20 that winter and we played with them for that entire time. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic.
“We have talent here. They are young – 18 [Koumetio], 19 [Williams], 23 [Phillips] – and we have more experienced players, so we will see. Everybody has a chance.
“They can smell the chance and they step up. They want to show they are ready and we will see.
“We have midfielders – not in the moment but hopefully in a couple of weeks – who can play the more defensive role as well. For the moment we are fine.
“I’m really confident it will work out with the boys and then hopefully we can convince the rest of the world as well.”
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