Premier League • England

‘Not in my mind’ – Jurgen Klopp sets record straight on critical Liverpool blow

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp checking on Thiago Alcantara

Jurgen Klopp has rejected a claim about the ongoing absence of Thiago Alcantara, though did shed light on the injury issue that has afflicted the Spaniard.

The 30-year-old has looked more comfortable in a Reds shirt this season after an underwhelming debut campaign. After overcoming a calf injury that saw him miss the entire month of October, Thiago became a mainstay in Klopp’s midfield three.

With a fully fit compliment to choose from, Liverpool’s strongest midfield trio is arguably Fabinho flanked by Jordan Henderson and Thiago.

However, the classy midfielder soon returned to the sidelines in mid-December through a Covid-enforced absence.

But around a month later, Thiago has not returned to Liverpool’s matchday squads and was again missing for their FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury despite the Reds being short on numbers.

That gave added weight to the speculation in the media that Thiago has suffered a potentially season-ending injury.

Klopp clarifies Thiago absence

Speaking after Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over the Shrews, Klopp was pressed for an update on Thiago. The German did admit his midfielder is missing through a hip issue. However, he allayed fears over Thiago being out for the season.

“No. Neither March nor end of season is in my mind.,” said Klopp (via the Mirror).

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“It is something around the hip. That is the situation he needs time. He didn’t train this week but we expect him to start rehab from Monday.

“It’s not the case that he is out until the end of season.”

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Liverpool warned Salah trouble is brewing

Meanwhile, Liverpool need to act fast over a new contract for Mohamed Salah or risk Paris Saint-Germain swooping in for him, one pundit has said.

For his part, the Egypt international said in October that he wants to renew and cannot – at this moment in time – see himself playing at any other club than Liverpool. Salah’s contract is due to expire in the summer of 2023.

But Salah also admitted that his renewal is entirely in the hands of Liverpool chiefs. According to Kevin Campbell, the Reds need to get moving or risk PSG making a move for him this summer.

“Salah could be top of the list [for PSG],” the pundit told Football Insider. “It’s a real possibility.

“The negotiations are taking too long at Liverpool. They are giving other teams an opportunity to zero in on him. They are opening the door. That needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. PSG will be interested in somebody who can score the amount Salah does, 100 per cent. Who wouldn’t be?

“PSG are going to need to replace [Kylian] Mbappe’s goals if he is to leave. There are not many in the world who could do that but Salah is certainly one of them.”

France international Mbappe, 23, is into the final six months of his PSG deal and has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.

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