Kostas Tsimikas will not be leaving Liverpool this summer – and Jurgen Klopp is personally responding to his suitors to make it clear, according to reports.
Tsimikas joined Liverpool last summer to provide back-up to Andy Robertson. Opportunities were few and far between in his debut season, though. Therefore, some foreign clubs believe there could be a chance to sign the former Olympiacos man this summer.
Interest in Tsimikas seems to be stemming from Serie A in particular, despite him never having played in Italy before. Napoli need a new left-back and are eyeing the Greece international as a cheaper alternative to Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri.
Earlier this week, it was claimed that Liverpool may sanction a loan departure for Tsimikas to Napoli. The final decision, though, would be made by Jurgen Klopp.
The manager has now had his say, though, behind the scenes. According to Il Mattino (via the Daily Mirror), Klopp has personally rebuffed offers for the 25-year-old.
While Tsimikas only played seven times in his debut Liverpool season, including just two appearances in the Premier League – it is still important for the club to have a deputy for Robertson.
The Scotland international started every league game for Liverpool last term. At 27 years old, he is in the prime of his career and will likely continue his stranglehold on the starting shirt.
But Klopp is hoping Tsimikas can provide more competition for his teammate this season.
Indeed, Tsimikas has revealed there were several factors that prevented him from making progress last season. With those issues behind him, he could have a more influential year.
The full-back told Liverpool’s website recently: “The first six months were very difficult for me because I had COVID and two injuries, but the second half of the year was very good and I trained very hard in coming back from the injuries.
“Now I am more ready and in good shape to give everything for the team and help them to achieve our goals.
“I know I have to challenge the best left-back in the world. This gives me the power to do my work well every day, to continue working hard and to continue to be as good as I can.
“My target for next season is to stay healthy, first of all, and after to play more games and help my team.”
Rejuvenated Liverpool man hints at U-turn
Another Liverpool player to be linked with an exit due to a lack of first-team prominence is Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Switzerland international recently commented that he was ready for a new challenge. But he then appeared to backtrack on that decision by revealing where his focus really lies.
Asked how he was feeling, he said: “Good, good. I’m happy to be with the team again here. I’m looking forward to having a good pre-season and start a good campaign again.
“We had some holidays, the guys who were at the Euros or the Copa America. I’m a couple of days here and I’m trying to get 100 per cent fit again. I’m feeling good.
“It was a very good Euros personally and of course with my country. It was something historical what we achieved and it’s something special for my country. I’m very proud of this.
“It says to me the hard work I do every day and with my country. I’m very, very pleased and happy and proud, of course, to achieve this kind of thing. I hope much more is going to come.”
Shaqiri is convinced Klopp’s men can get back to competing for the title this season.
“Of course, yeah. We have [a] top-quality group and very good lads – this is also very important to have good characters. To achieve as a club, we need to stick together as a team.
“If we do that and if we give everything what we have with our talent on the pitch and fight together with the team then we can achieve a lot of things this season,” he added.