Jurgen Klopp sees no reason why Mohamed Salah would want to leave Liverpool as the Reds boss cleared up the controversy over the captaincy at Midtjylland.
Salah gave an interview to Spanish publication AS last week covering a range of topics such as his interest in one day joining Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“We never know what is going to happen in the future,” was Salah’s answer to that question as he also expressed disappointment with not being given the captain’s armband for the recent Champions League draw with Midtjylland.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, instead, saw his dream come true by skippering his boyhood club in Europe and Klopp has moved to clarify the situation, saying it was a mistake on his part to give the honour to the right-back.
Instead, the duty should have went to Divock Origi, Klopp said, as he dismissed claims that Salah was agitating for a move away from Anfield.
“I don’t know, we all want it and we can look for something else if you want but the only reason to leave Liverpool right now is really the weather,” Klopp said.
“What other reason could be there? 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, and we have a sensational stadium, outstanding supporters with a fanbase all over the world.
“So our colours are red, which is the nicest colour anyway, so what is the reason? But you cannot force people to stay but that is it.
“We never did by the way, it is all about timing in the right moments, stuff like this. We have made changes to bring players in and if someone wants to leave we cannot hold them back.
“I just don’t understand why someone would want to go. And when Mo answered the question, it was that these clubs might be interested, but he didn’t rule out that. Imagine.
“OK, I am different because you ask me a lot about it and these things about contracts and stuff like this.
“But ask any player in the world who is not playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid and then ask them ‘can you imagine playing for them one day?’ and [imagine] he would say ‘No, not for me, Spanish. They are the big ones in Spain’.
“Why should he say that? The only thing he said is ‘we will see’.
“And about Liverpool, [a new contract] is in the club’s hands and stuff like this. It is true 100 per cent.
“It is about talks and having talks about a future and these kind of things, so it’s really all fine.
“You obviously have not a lot to talk about and that is why we make a long story from one interview.
“That is completely fine but it does not make it more important for me. Mo is a very important player for me, obviously. But this story isn’t.”
Klopp said the captaincy should have been handed to Origi given he had been at the club for the longest in the team that took to the field in Denmark earlier this month.
The Reds manager added: “I was captain for a long time in my career, and what a heck of a job it is because there are not a lot of benefits you get, just a lot of work with all the things around.
“I didn’t feel or do feel the importance of being captain.
“Yes we have a captain like Hendo and that is important but to be a captain for one game, I didn’t realise how important that can be to players because in this world now, everything is a big story.
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“I didn’t realise it was that big a story for Trent. The rule here is there is a players’ committee and it is Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum.
“There are pretty much the four captains. You don’t need four but if Hendo is not playing then Milly, if both are not playing then Virgil or Gini.
“If they all cannot play then it is usually the guy the longest at the club.
“That was, in my understanding and how I saw it, was Trent. I don’t mean the youth career, the professional career.
“Someone told me after it should have been Divock Origi and that was my fault because of being out on loans and stuff like that.
“So I didn’t make it that complicated, I just gave Trent the armband.
“And I spoke to Mo about it after the game and when I realised it didn’t work out that well, I clarified that and he said it again in the interview, so not a problem for me.
“He said he was disappointed and I didn’t do it on purpose, I just did what I did. If I made a mistake then it was that Divock Origi was not the captain.”
The Reds manager said he was more than happy with what Salah said in the interview, claiming more was being made of it than needed to be.
And as the champions prepare to entertain West Brom on Sunday with the 16-goal Salah in blistering form, Klopp said he does not foresee a situation that will become a problem with the Egyptian superstar.
“Mo’s motivation level is really, really high,” Klopp said. “He keeps himself in an incredible shape and works really hard around the sessions.
“He is first in, last out, that kind of stuff and there’s nothing you can blame him for for that.
“So he knows exactly what he needs for that and he knows he has a chance to break records if his team-mates give him the ball in the right positions and things like that. There is no doubt about that, so that is all fine.
“These kinds of interviews that I have heard about now, you make a lot of it to be honest, which is fine, absolutely fine, but on a daily basis, we don’t feel it.
“It is a challenge to manage players in general. They are all human beings and you are different and my players are no different. It’s a challenge in a good way but that is my job, actually.
“The thing with footballers is they need to be extremely confident and then they can play their best football.
“So being extremely confident makes you a special person and not always the most easy to deal with every day but so far, there is no problem and I can’t see any in the future.”