Jurgen Klopp handled talk of a Mohamed Salah exit to complete perfection this week. The Liverpool boss knows exactly what he’s doing.
Even when Liverpool are on top of the world, they can’t escape the exit talk. This time, it’s that Mohamed Salah could find that exit and take it to Spain.
This talk comes from two places. Firstly, with the £34m star not immediately ruling out the possibility of moving to Spain.
AS asked him and he merely said his future was in Liverpool’s hands. Not exactly the strongest suggestion, then.
Quickly following that, though, came talk from a ex-international teammate. Mohamed Abourtrika claimed to beIN sports that Salah was upset, ‘not happy’, and that the reasons were a secret.
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He also said that he believed Liverpool were looking to sell Salah.
So, again, not a wonderful source that leaves us worried. Still, it generated talk that Jurgen Klopp had to deal with.
And deal with he did.
“The only reason to leave Liverpool at the moment is the weather,” said Klopp, per the Guardian. “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.”
Now, in our eyes, that’s as perfect a response as you get. Klopp managed to leave the door open, admitting that he wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way, while also making that door seem like one no one should walk through.
What better way to handle the situation? Everyone knows that Salah can push through a move elsewhere if he really wants.
But at the same time, Klopp makes it sound quite silly to do so. He backs it all up, too. Liverpool is the place to be right now – for all the reasons he mentions – and you’ll need a very specific reason to leave.
It means Liverpool can’t come out of the situation looking bad, really. If Salah pushes for a move, it certainly isn’t because the club isn’t fantastic. It’s because he wants nice weather or a newer challenge or this or that or something else.
That’s very different to Philippe Coutinho, for instance. Liverpool looked weak coming out of that one – he pushed for a bigger, more successful club.
Although, Liverpool eventually looked good with that one, of course.
So we love what Klopp has done here. We don’t think Salah will go anywhere but if he does, it’s certainly no reflection on the club.