Klopp on Salah links with Real Madrid and Barcelona: Weather the only reason to leave Liverpool

David Lynch
  • David Lynch
  • Updated: 17 May 2021 21:11 BST
  • 3 min read
David Lynch Updated: 17 May 2021 21:11 BST 3 min read
Klopp on Salah links with Real Madrid and Barcelona: Weather the only reason to leave Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions that Mohamed Salah is keen on leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Last week, the Egyptian gave a rare one-on-one interview with Spanish sports publication AS in which the possibility of a move to La Liga was discussed.

Salah refused to rule out a future transfer to Spain and also expressed disappointment over Klopp’s failure to name him captain for a recent Champions League clash wtih Midtjylland.

However, the Reds boss is not overly concerned that his influential No.11, who also cited a desire to win more trophies at Anfield during the interview, is pushing for a departure.

He said: “The only reason to leave Liverpool at the moment is the weather. What other reason could there be? This is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We pay good money, maybe not the most in the world but we pay good, we have a sensational stadium with outstanding supporters, we have a fanbase all around the world and our colours are red, which is the nicest colour anyway.

“You cannot force people to stay but that is it. We never did by the way. It is all about timing, the right moment. We make changes and bring players in and if a player wants to go then we cannot, probably not hold him back; it’s just that I would not understand why somebody would want to go.

“When Mo answered the question it was that these clubs might be interested and he didn’t rule that out. If you ask any player in the world who is not playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid if he can imagine playing there one day and he said: ‘No, Spanish football is not for me,’ why should he say that?

“The only thing he said was we shall see and it is in the club’s hands. It is 100% true and it is about having talks about the future. It is really all fine. Mo is a very important player for me obviously but this story around is not.”

Klopp admits captain ‘mistake’

Klopp went on to discuss the thorny issue of the captain’s armband, which came up in the aftermath of Liverpool’s final Champions League group game earlier this month.

In the absence of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the honour for the first time in his career.

But, while Klopp acknowledged that was an error, he actually believes he should have appointed Divock Origi as the club’s next longest-serving first-team player.

He added: “I was captain for a long time in my career and I always thought: ‘what a job this is’ because there are not a lot of benefits and there is a lot of work,” Klopp said. “I didn’t feel, or do not feel, the importance of being captain. Before the game I did not realise how important that can be for players and I didn’t realise how big a story it was for Trent.

“The rule here is we have a players’ committee. The committee is Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum. These are pretty much the four captains. If they all cannot play, usually it is the guy who is longest in the club. And that, how I saw it, was Trent. I don’t mean youth career, but in his professional career. Then somebody told me that on that basis it should have been Divock Origi. So it was my fault.

“Afterwards I spoke to Mo about it. Then I realised it did not work out that well so I clarified it. Obviously he gave the interview. That is not a problem for me. Obviously he was disappointed. I did not do it on purpose, and if I made a mistake then it was not making Divock Origi captain that day.”