Premier League • England

Klopp lets January plan slip through update on surprise Liverpool deal

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughing 2021

Jurgen Klopp revealed what Liverpool won’t do in January after providing an update on surprise reports linking Joe Gomez with a January exit.

Gomez, 24, has taken a back seat in the current campaign. Like Virgil van Dijk, Gomez missed a significant portion of last season through injury. However, unlike the Dutchman, Gomez has rarely been called upon since returning to full fitness.

That prompted surprise rumours of a loan exit in January. Steven Gerrard’s connection with Liverpool had been touted as a potential edge if Aston Villa came calling.

However, speaking in his press conference on Wednesday (via the Liverpool Echo), Klopp insisted he and Gomez are on the same page. Furthermore, he stated a loan deal for Gomez will not be sanctioned in January.

In doing so, Klopp revealed that at present, there are “no plans” to allow anyone to leave on loan next month.

Nathaniel Phillips had been linked with West Ham, though it appears reports stressing Liverpool would only do business for a permanent deal were accurate.

“It was obviously not the best year for him [Gomez], but that’s how it goes.,” said Klopp. “We are patient, and Joe is patient.

“I have no plans to give anybody on loan in the winter.”

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One Liverpool figure who has departed however, is analyst Mark Leyland.

Newcastle’s offer of a greater role lured Leyland to St. James’ Park, and Klopp admitted he was an “incredibly important” member of his staff.

“Mark was here longer than me,” added the German, “He was an incredibly important member of staff. Top guy.

“But he had the chance to get a more senior role at Newcastle and he was eager to make the next step in his career.”

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Speculation swirled on Wednesday morning that the upcoming AFCON tournament could be shelved amid Covid-19 uncertainty.

Fresh reports have since stated the tournament will go ahead as planned, with Liverpool due to be the hardest hit Premier League side.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita could all depart. Even Joel Matip had been rumoured to be considering ending his international football exile by returning to play for Cameroon.

Thankfully for Reds fans, Klopp insisted those rumours were wide of the mark.

On whether Matip could play for Cameroon next month, Klopp concluded: “I’ve spoken to him and no, he isn’t.”

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Klopp gives injury update; Aguero tribute

Liverpool face Newcastle on Thursday night and could be boosted by the return of Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has been missing for six weeks following a hamstring injury, though is back in contention to feature.

Klopp said: “Bobby trained normally yesterday so I would say he’s in contention. Curtis [Jones] had a partial session with the team. Timing-wise, it couldn’t be better.”

Finally, Klopp offered his sympathies to Man City icon Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine officially announced his retirement from football on Wednesday morning after being diagnosed with a heart condition last month.

“First and foremost I really feel for the boy,” said Klopp. “I’m sure he is in shock. The impact he had on the Premier League, on football was incredible.

“The goals he scored, the importance of the goals he scored. Great player. One of the best I ever faced.”

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