Premier League • England

Klopp admits ‘we cannot do much more’ over new Salah Liverpool contract, but rejects Luis Diaz link

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool cannot do much more over a new contract for Mohamed Salah and instead vowed to wait for a concrete update.

Liverpool tied down a number of their key stars last summer, including Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson. They are looking to keep their Premier League and Champions League-winning squad together. However, Salah is a particular outlier in that regard.

Fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino also see their current deals expire in 2023. Still, Salah’s sparkling form has seen the spotlight fall on him.

Focus on his future has not been as intense in the last two months. Not only was the Egyptian was away from Liverpool at the Africa Cup of Nations for a period, but new winger signing Luis Diaz has been settling in well too.

Nevertheless, Salah’s contract is becoming a more pressing issue as time goes by. Klopp, though, continues to feel relaxed. Speaking in a press conference on Friday, he was asked if Diaz’s arrival is persuading Salah that the Reds’ ambition for success remains strong.

“Mo definitely expects this club to be ambitious,” Klopp said. “We were in the last years and we are.

“Do I think the signing of Luis Diaz helps Mo? Of course we cannot do much more, that’s how it is. But I don’t think it’s about that.

“It’s Mo’s decision, pretty much. The club did what it can do, that’s how it is.

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“It’s all fine and exactly like it should be from my point of view. Nothing happened further [since the last question on Salah’s future], no signing or rejection or whatever.

“We just have to wait for that, it’s completely fine and there’s no rush.”

As for Diaz’s impact, the Colombian winger has settled in well since his January move from Porto. The 25-year-old may only have scored one goal in his nine appearances so far. However, his work off the ball has been impressive.

Former Newcastle and Colombia star Faustino Asprilla has doubts over Diaz’s impact at Anfield.

According to Klopp, though, the player’s adaptation to his system has been “surprisingly quick”.

Klopp lauds Luis Diaz at Liverpool

Luis Diaz, Jurgen Klopp Liverpool v Cardiff, February 2022

“It’s everything how you wish for,” the manager said of the signing. “When you sign a player you never know in the moment how quick it will go.

“Luis has so many things he needs to have an impact here and we saw that in the first moment.

“But, there’s a difference in seeing it in training and bringing it on the pitch and he’s ‘get what you see’. Brilliant so far.”

Liverpool would be top of the Premier League if they had been able to call on this player all season

Salah and Diaz have played either side of Mane in a new-look Liverpool front three of late.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brighton, though, Klopp confirmed that Roberto Firmino could return.

The Brazilian had returned to training before Tuesday’s defeat to Inter following a muscle issue but was not fit enough to make the squad.