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Jurgen Klopp not sure new deal will make huge difference to players’ decisions

Jurgen Klopp signed a contract extension at Liverpool on Thursday (Peter Byrne/PA)
Jurgen Klopp signed a contract extension at Liverpool on Thursday (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not believe his new deal will be the deciding factor on whether the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane commit their long-term futures to the club.

The pair, along with Roberto Firmino and midfielder Naby Keita, have contracts which expire next summer and negotiations have dragged on for some time.

With Klopp now staying until 2026, there is a greater degree of security at the club but the German is not convinced that will make a huge difference to individual players’ decisions.

“That is more a question for the boys, what it exactly means for them but all fine, my relationship with them is great,” he said.

“My point is in life there are more important things to think about, not only who is the manager but knowing who the manager and coaching staff is is important thing because when you know what you have with other clubs where you could go, you don’t know exactly.

“There is no 100 per cent in this business but I think it is pretty likely I will stay for a little bit longer because other coaches are there at other clubs.

“If it is a positive sign for the boys, great, but I don’t think this will be the one decisive thing for whatever decision they want to make.

“It is their own life but we just wanted to guarantee that everyone who wants to be here knows what he can expect.”

Salah’s contract negotiations have dragged on for several months now, with the Egypt international stressing last week the delay was “not about money at all”.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp has extended his stay at Liverpool (Adam Davy/PA)

However, whether the guarantee of working with Klopp for the final peak years of his career will be persuasive enough for him to accept an offer below a reported £400,000-plus a week remains to be seen.

But whichever way that decision goes Klopp will not hold it against him or any other player who sees their future elsewhere.

Asked whether players in the past had spoken to him about his own future before committing theirs, Klopp added: “That happened as well. I don’t judge loyalty because of these kind of things.

“From my side yes, if I commit, I commit but I know a player’s career is 15 years and I have great relationships today with former players of mine who wanted to leave in specific moments when I thought ‘That’s a shame you go now’.

“If a player tells you early enough he wants to go then you have to deal with it: is there a club that wants him, is there a transfer fee?

Mohamed Salah shoots
Mohamed Salah has yet to commit to the Reds (Adam Davy/PA)

“If a player is coming at the last moment and tells you on Sunday when the transfer window closes on the Monday ‘By the way, I can’t stay here’ then (it’s) ‘Sorry my friend, that’s not possible’.

“To plan we need decisions at a specific point and that’s what we are working on.

“But I don’t judge people if they are loyal or not if they say during a contract ‘I want to go somewhere else and see what the weather is like or how the grass is there’.

“That’s not the case. I think you see loyalty in other areas.”

Klopp takes his side to Newcastle for the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday looking to put the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City, who are the late game at Leeds, by opening up a two-point gap at the top.

With one foot in the Champions League final, holding a 2-0 lead over Villarreal ahead of a trip to Spain next week, and an FA Cup final against Chelsea in a fortnight, an unprecedented but unlikely quadruple remains on track.

Klopp said him signing a new contract is the start of a new era at the club.

“We don’t think about changing the team in the next two or three years or whatever, but you have to prepare the little things so that you are ready for the future as well,” he said.

“That’s why I really think it’s a really good place to be or a good place to join, if not the perfect place.

“We cannot wait 10 years. We have to do it now. It’s no threat. This is only the start, to be honest. That’s the plan, that we really, really go for it.

“There’s nothing guaranteed, it’s why we have to enjoy the journey. The journey so far is a great one but we don’t know if we will win anything.”

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