Jurgen Klopp admitted the situation surrounding Sadio Mane on the pitch at Old Trafford on Thursday night is not one he would like.
The Liverpool forward, who was a second-half substitute, refused to fist bump Klopp at full-time at Old Trafford. As is customary after a Premier League game, the Liverpool boss offered his fists with players from both sides after their 4-2 win. But as Klopp approached Mane, who was replaced by Jota in the starting XI, – the forward walked away, shaking his head.
And the first question at Klopp’s press conference on Friday approached the subject once more.
“That is the thing you are most interested in? I cannot make a bigger story of it. Football is an emotional game and people expect that we control our emotions always but it doesn’t work out that way,” said an animated Klopp.
“It happened to me as a player and it will happened to other players while I was their the coach. So far we have not had chance to talk about it, but we will talk about it and everything will be fine.
“Do we want these things to happen? No. But it’s not the first time it has happened in my life and it will probably not be the last time.”
"There is no problem there…" 👀
Jurgen Klopp explains why Sadio Mane refused to shake his hand at FT at Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/2v5ZTa9J1z
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 13, 2021
Further pressed on the issue, a reported said that if he had shown his boss such disrespect he would be in big trouble.
“If somebody shows me five million times respect and one time not, what is more important? The world is then in the situation when it makes the one time bigger than is necessary. That’s unfortunately the case.
“I hope for you that your boss, if you one time don’t show him respect, doesn’t forget the other stuff. Even when I speak about that I can see the headlines, which you are making out of it,” added Klopp.
Klopp: Season not defined by last three games
“I am completely relaxed about it. If you had seen me as a player and what I did out of emotion, it was insane and I’m a completely normal guy.
“We will talk about it and it will be sorted.”
Asked whether Mane would be available against West Brom on Sunday, he replied: “I think so. I’ve not heard anything.
“These three remaining games can give us an extremely positive outcome, but our season will not be defined by these three games. The season was full of different problems – we have to recover and fully focus on WBA.
“Our last three games will be really, really tough. What Sam has done at WBA is really good – they made appropriate signings. All the pressure is off them – it gives good feelings to express yourself and play football. We have to be really focused.”