Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool’s players will remain loyal to the club in the event of the Reds’ failure to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
The reigning Premier League champions have lost four of their last five top flight matches to leave them seventh, four points behind Chelsea in fourth spot.
Mohamed Salah was left visibly frustrated when he was substituted during Thursday evening’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, and the forward’s future has been the subject of intense speculation – with a contract extension yet to be offered and links to Barcelona and Real Madrid continuing to do the rounds.
“I know we have loyalty from the players,” said Klopp (via BBC Sport). “It isn’t a situation where a player in the squad says, ‘we are not in the Champions League so I have to leave’. That will not happen. I know them well enough to know that.”
A season outside of the Champions League could also have a detrimental impact on recruitment due to the very best players’ desire to play in European football’s most prestigious cup competition.
However, Klopp insisted that a player who would reject the chance to sign for the club because they are not in the Champions League is not the sort of character they would want to bring to Liverpool.
“It will not be an issue with new players, I can’t see that,” the Liverpool boss added. “We said it years back that if a player doesn’t want to come here because we don’t play Champions League next year then I don’t want them. And if a player wants to leave because we don’t have Champions League then I don’t want him.
“It’s not a personal thing but it is always like this. You always need to find the right squad for the challenges you face and then you go for it. It is nothing I worry about.”