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Liverpool

Keita to grace AFCON as Liverpool’s injury diagnosis branded ‘hasty and pretentious’

20:29 GMT+4 04/05/2019
Naby Keita - Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp has stated that he expects the midfielder to be sidelined for two months, but the Guinea Football Federation are not accepting that

Liverpool have been told their diagnosis of Naby Keita is “hasty and pretentious”, with Guinea expecting a midfielder ruled out for two months by his club to make the Africa Cup of Nations.

When quizzed on the 24-year-old’s fitness, Jurgen Klopp suggested that his club and international campaign had come to a close.

A knock picked up against Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final was threatening to keep Keita sidelined until the middle of the summer.

Klopp claimed that an adductor problem was “very serious”, with it highly unlikely that Keita could participate in AFCON.

The Guinea Football Federation are, however, confident that Keita will be involved at the event in Egypt and have asked the Reds boss to “let the doctors do their job”.

Federation president Antonio Souare has told Football Factory Radio: “First we wish a very good and fast healing to Naby, as far as I know the adductors cannot prevent him from playing the African Cup of Nations 2019 that will be played from 22 June for Guinea.

“The adductors [injury] is two to three weeks of unavailability. The Liverpool coach has to pull himself together, let the doctors do their job.

“Naby Keita belongs to a state before belonging to Liverpool. I remind the Liverpool coach a little bit of the rules if he does not know it.

“So it's hasty and pretentious to make statements like this. What we do know is that Naby Keita will play at the African Cup of Nations 2019.”

Klopp’s assessment of Keita had been: “It was really unlucky. It's bad news.

“He has a high grade adductor injury. The tendon is ruptured. It will keep him out for at least two months. It's bad news for us and for Guinea as well because the Africa Cup of Nations is coming up.

“He was in a really, really good moment but it's happened. That's how football and life sometimes are. Not too nice. It's very serious.

“On the one side he won't be involved be involved in an interesting part of the season and on the other hand side Guinea aren't a regular starter in the Africa Cup of Nations and that was for sure a big target for him.

“Of course he's not in a good moment but that's when you have to help the players. We will try everything we can.”

Guinea are due to take in a friendly date with Egypt on June 16.

They will then kick off their AFCON campaign against Madagascar on June 22.

Further meetings with Nigeria and Burundi will be taken in after being placed into Group B.