Liverpool: Klopp confident and relaxed about Salah contract situation
Mohamed Salah's contract talks were discussed in today's press conference and Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has said he is "very positive" about it.
Jürgen Klopp says he feels quietly confident that Mohamed Salah will sign a new contract with Liverpool amid speculation surrounding the forward's future.
Salah, who is currently on international duty with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, is under contract until June 2023. The forward recently gave an interview to GQ magazine in which he stated he is not asking for "crazy" money during negotiations, adding that he wants to stay but that the decision rests with the club.
The player's comments were brought up in Klopp's press conference ahead of Thursday's EFL Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal; the coach was asked whether he was at all worried the star might not re-sign, with just 18 months remaining on his current deal at Anfield.
"First of all, nowadays I think it's really dangerous with these interviews - things, when you didn't speak to the players themselves, there might be nothing at all in it. We know, I know that Mo wants to stay. We want Mo to stay. That's where we are," Klopp told reporters. "These things take time - I cannot change that, sorry. I think it is in a good place, I have nothing else to say. I'm very positive about it but I don't think it makes sense for you to speak on behalf of the fans because I am pretty sure that the fans are not as nervous as you are, they know the club, they know how things work here. So there's enough reasons to feel positive but while it's not done we can't say anything about it. The conversations are good, that's all I can say. There is nothing to worry about, it is a normal process. He has a contract here for this season and next season. It is all fine."
Klopp on dealing with false positive Covid-19 tests
Klopp was also quizzed about his comments after the win against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup third round on Sunday that his players had returned "false positive" Covid-19 tests, which led to the first leg of the tie with Arsenal that had been scheduled to be played last week being postponed. Liverpool requested that the game at the Emirates Stadium be pushed back by two weeks due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the club that led to the training ground being closed for 48 hours. But the German coach seemed to suggest many of those cases turned out to be false positives, with only Trent Alexander-Arnold returning another positive after re-testing.
"You get a positive test, then when you do a re-test a day, day and a half later, you get a result that makes it seem like a false positive because this test was negative," he clarified. "That doesn't change anything for your quarantine or whatever but if you need to know, you have to do a third test. Between the first and second, and second and third test you cannot use the players, so that's how the rules are. If you get a third test and that's negative as well, then that's it. It was now four days later, so we couldn't do anything different. When we got the positive tests, we had to consider that this was the right result."
Klopp confirmed that Alexander-Arnold is back in training along with Alisson, but Thiago Alcântara and Divock Origi remain sidelined by injury. He also had a positive update on the status of Harvey Elliott, who has not played since suffering a fractured ankle in the 3-0 win at Leeds United in September. "Harvey Elliott looks really promising out on the pitch now," said the Reds boss. "He didn't train with the team yet, but I don't think he's too far away from team training. What he's doing at the moment looks really good."