‘Stay calm’: Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool team is not about to break up

Manager blames media for speculation over players’ futures

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool fans should “stay calm” because his team will not break up this summer and key contract issues can be resolved now there is clarity over his future.

The Liverpool manager dismissed concerns that his decision to leave at the end of the season could prompt leading players to follow suit. The denial follows Virgil van Dijk’s admission that he is unsure whether he will be part of the post-Klopp era, with the Liverpool captain in the final 18 months of his contract and waiting to see what the club’s next step will be.

Klopp blamed media questions for the uncertainty around Van Dijk, while admitting players will want answers on the direction of the club. But he is adamant the team he has rebuilt into Premier League title contenders will not rupture as a result of his exit.

“No, I don’t think so but it is completely normal,” he said. “It is always clear, when I spoke about what I spoke about, the outside world will not give you a second to process it. It is: ‘What are you doing?’ A week ago when no one knew about my decision and there were 18 months on the contracts, nobody asked. Give the boys a break.


“Virg didn’t go out and say: ‘By the way, what I want to say is ...’ It is always about the questions and we always need to answer these kind of things. This club is stable, 100 per cent, and everything will be fine, I am 100 per cent sure, and the rest we have to get through this. We have to get through your questions and give some answers. That is how it is. All people, I would recommend to stay calm in this department, massively.

“Very often the fans’ concerns are not as big as the media might think. You underestimate the IQ of our supporters. There is nothing to worry about in this moment in time. If you know the manager for next season or not, it is always the same. If the boys have to think about these things, that is a human right. Before you make a decision about whatever, that is completely normal.”

Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold will all enter the final 12 months of their Liverpool contracts this summer. Klopp believes it would have been wrong to negotiate extensions when the players had no idea until Friday that he would not be in charge next season. Now his departure has been confirmed, Klopp expects progress on new deals to be made swiftly.

“The club knew about my departure for a while [since November] and the club could have used the time and tied the players down,” he said. “And then I say: ‘By the way, I’m not here any more’ and they would be: ‘What? No one told us that.’ You cannot work like that, especially not with the relationship we have.

“There is enough time to do everything. These players love to be here, don’t forget that. It is not that they have one foot out [of the door]. They want to know a little bit of perspective but that is there and it will happen, especially behind the scenes. Everything is fine. Just because we constantly answer questions it feels like: ‘What’s going on there?’ Things, especially important things, need time. Don’t worry. It is all fine. The boys love this place. I know that for a fact.” – Guardian

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