Premier League • England

Major Liverpool U-turn as star is told he’s ‘staying at Anfield’ as Klopp ruins Tottenham transfer plan

Diogo Jota Caoimhin Kelleher Naby Keita Liverpool after Carabao Cup final at Wembley March 2022

One of the stars widely expected to leave Liverpool this summer now looks as though he is staying at Anfield following an apparent change of opinion from Jurgen Klopp.

The Merseysiders have endured a dip in performances and results this season and will likely finish in fifth position. That will deny them entry into the Champions League, instead taking part in the Europa League for the first time since Klopp’s first full season in charge. Furthermore, a lack of silverware means the 2022/23 campaign will very much go down as a season to forget.

As a result, major changes are in the works at Anfield this summer as the club embark on a major rebuild. The main focus of attention will be on the capture of at least three new midfielders.

But Klopp also has other positions he wants to strengthen too and also plans to invest in a new defender. To that end, a report claims the Reds boss has drawn up a shortlist of four possible defensive signings.

To help facilitate with the rebuilding, a number of stars are expected to leave Anfield. As a result, James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all played their final games at Anfield. Perhaps the most emotional send-off though was reserved for Roberto Firmino, who has proved massively influential in their recent success.

That quartet will leave as free agents meaning not a penny will be generated by their exits. As a consequence, there are expected to be futher departures too with the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher, Joel Matip and even Diogo Jota rumoured to be heading for the exit door.

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Klopp adamant that Kelleher stays at Liverpool

Certainly one man whose exit would leave a hole is that of Kelleher. The Irishman is hugely-popular with Klopp, having firmly established himself as No 2 at Anfield behind Alisson Becker.

And while his periphery role means he does not play often, when called upon Kelleher has never lets the club down.

However, with Kelleher wanting to take his career to the next level, a move away from Merseyside could be facilitated. And with Liverpool valuing the star at around £20m, he is unlikely to be short of suitors.

Indeed, the 24-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Tottenham as they look for a long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris.

In addition, with Jorg Schmadtke to begin work as sporting director from next month, the sale of Kelleher was tipped to become the German’s first piece of business at Anfield.

However, claims that Kelleher could depart Liverpool this summer have been firmly rebuffed by Klopp.

And he seems to have performed a dramatic U-turn to scupper Spurs’ hopes of a deal.

“We look in all departments apart from goalkeeper at the moment,” Klopp said on Friday. “Yes, if there is a good [centre-back] out there, I would not deny it. That’s all. We look at all areas of the pitch, definitely.”

Klopp plans to keep Liverpool No 2

Now, as quoted by the Irish Examiner, Klopp has gone one stage further, telling Kelleher he is now staying at Anfield.

“Caoimh Kelleher? He has a contract,” Klopp said. “No, I can’t see him leaving. It would have to be an extraordinary offer for me to even start thinking about it, I have to say.”

The news will certainly be welcomed by the Anfield faithful, though it remains to be seen how Kelleher himself will react to the news.

And if the player is to leave Liverpool, it appears he may have to take matters into his own hands.

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