Jurgen Klopp says Adam Lallana “wants to finish the job” after agreeing a short-term contract extension with Liverpool.
The 32-year-old midfielder was out of contract at the end of June but the club have moved to extend that until the end of the season on July 23.
Lallana, who Klopp confirms is a man in demand, will remain with the Reds until the end of July to see out the current campaign and more than likely win a Premier League winners’ medal.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “I know how highly sought after Adam is in this moment by other clubs who want him for next season, so for him this is a commitment to us and we are very appreciative to him for it.
“This is absolutely how it should be, too, because I am so pleased he will be with us to finish the job this season and have the farewell he deserves so much.
“It is not possible for me to find words in the English language to properly explain the importance of Adam Lallana during my period of being manager of this club.
“But, to be honest, now is not the time for these words. Because of this news – that he stays until we finish this campaign – I can say all the things I want and need to when our season is concluding next month.
“What I can say – and want to say – now is even the way he has handled this extension tells you all you need to know about the person and his character. A top-class professional and an even better person.”
A number of outlets were briefed on Klopp’s intentions on Monday night, The Times included, but the paper did also report that the former Southampton man “is unlikely to be on the same terms” as his existing £100,000-a-week deal.
Lallana, who signed from the Saints in 2014 for £25million is believed to have agreed a reduced deal until the end of July when he will then leave on a free transfer, with Leicester heavily linked with his services.
The paper also claimed that Klopp will not offer Lallana any extended playing time and there will be no sentimentality in his team selections for the last nine games.
And Klopp’s thoughts backed up that idea surrounding the selfless Lallana, whose concern it was that he may block the pathway of a younger player.
“Adam always puts the club first – always! In the conversations we have had, he has been the first to express that my priority as a manager needs to be the players who are at this club for longer than just the rest of this season,” added Klopp.
“He wants to be here to finish the job and do it properly, but it says everything about him that his biggest concern was blocking the progress and opportunity of a player who is under contract for next season also.
“But his role is too important to lose him before this season is done. So, it’s fantastic we can delay our messages of gratitude and good luck until the end of July now.”