Jurgen Klopp sees no reason why Mohamed Salah would want to leave Liverpool as the Reds boss cleared up the controversy over the captaincy in Midtjylland.
Salah gave an interview to the Spanish publication AS last week, covering a number of topics such as his interest in a one-day entry to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“We never know what will happen in the future,” was Salah’s answer to that question, as he also expressed disappointment that he was not given the captain’s armband for the recent Champions League draw with Midtjylland.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, instead, saw his dream come true by skipping his boys ’club in Europe, and Klopp tried to clarify the situation, saying it was his fault to honor the right-back.
Instead, the duty should have belonged to Divock Origi, Klopp said, dismissing claims that Salah was agitating for moving from Anfield.
“I don’t know, we all want that and we can look for something else if you want, but the only reason we leave Liverpool right now is real time,” Klopp said.
“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 well, and we have a sensational stadium, outstanding fans with a fan base around the world.
“So our colors are red, which is the most beautiful color anyway, so what’s the reason? But you can’t force people to stay, but that’s it.
“We’ve never done that, it’s all about setting the time at the right times, things like this. We’ve introduced changes to bring in players and if someone wants to leave, we can’t keep them.
“I just don’t understand why anyone would want to go. And when Mo answered the question, it was that these clubs might be interested, but he didn’t rule it out. Imagine that.
“Okay, I’m different because you ask me a lot about it and about things around contracts and things like that.
“But ask any player in the world who doesn’t play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, and then ask them ‘can you imagine playing for them one day?’ i [imagine] he would say ‘No, not for me, Spanish. They are the biggest in Spain ‘.
“Why would he say that? The only thing he said was ‘we’ll see.’
“And about Liverpool, [a new contract] is in the hands of the club and things like that. It is 100 percent true.
“It’s about conversations and conversations about the future and stuff like that, so that’s really okay.
“Obviously you don’t have much to talk about and that’s why we make a long story out of one interview.
“That’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t make it more important to me. Obviously Mo is a very important player for me. But this story isn’t.”
Klopp said that the captaincy should have been handed over to Origia given that he had been at the club for the longest time in a team that went out on the field in Denmark earlier this month.
The Reds manager added: “I’ve been a captain for a long time in my career, and what a hell of a job that is, because there’s not a lot of benefit you have, but a lot of work with all the stuff around.
“I didn’t feel nor do I feel the importance of being a captain.
“Yes, we have a captain like Hendo and that’s important, but to be a captain in one game, I didn’t realize how important that can be to the players, because in this world everything is a big story now.
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“I didn’t realize it was such a big story for Trent. The rule is that there is a board of players, and those are Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum.
“There are pretty four captains. You don’t need four, but if Hendo doesn’t play then Milly, if they both don’t play then Virgil or Gini.
“If not everyone can play, then it’s usually the longest guy in the club.
“It was, in my understanding and as I saw it, Trent. I don’t mean a youth career, a professional career.
“Someone told me after it was supposed to be Divock Origi and it was my fault because I wasn’t on loans and stuff like that.
“So I didn’t complicate it that much, I just gave Trent the tape.
“And I talked to Mo about it after the game and when I realized it wasn’t going so well, I clarified it and he repeated it in an interview, so it’s not a problem for me.
“He said he was disappointed and that I didn’t do it on purpose, but I did what I did. If I was wrong, then it was that Divock Origi wasn’t the captain.”
The Reds manager said that he was more than satisfied with what Salah said in the interview, claiming that it is being made more than it should have been.
And while the champions are preparing to entertain West Brom with 16-goal Salah in brilliant form on Sunday, Klopp said he does not anticipate a situation that will become a problem for the Egyptian superstar.
“My level of motivation is really, really high,” Klopp said. “He is in incredible shape and works a lot around the sessions.
“He’s the first, the last out, stuff like that and you can’t blame him for that.
“So, he knows exactly what he needs for that and he knows that he has the opportunity to break records if his teammates give him the ball in the right positions and similar things. There is no doubt about that, so everything is fine.
“For the kinds of interviews I’ve heard about now, do a lot, to be honest, which is fine, absolutely fine, but we don’t feel it every day.
“The challenge is to manage the players in general. They’re all people, and you’re different, and my players aren’t different. It’s a challenge in a good way, but it’s actually my job.
“The thing about football players is that they have to be extremely confident and then they can play their best football.
“So extreme self-confidence makes you a special person and it’s not always the easiest thing to do every day, but so far there are no problems and I can’t see them in the future.”