'The future is in good hands' - Klopp insists Liverpool's stars will stay regardless of Champions League qualification
Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will be able to hold onto their star players even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
The Reds face an uphill battle to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League this season. Klopp’s side sit seventh in the table following their defeat to Chelsea on Thursday night, and could slip as low as ninth if teams below them were to win their games in hand.
The financial implications of finishing outside the top four are clear, even moreso given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, while Klopp hinted earlier this week that failure to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition would make it harder to “excite” potential new signings.
What’s been said?
Howver, at a press conference on Friday, the German claimed that Liverpool remain in a strong position on and off the field, regardless of whether they are in the Champions League or not.
"This club will not be regular outside of the Champions League," Klopp said.
"This year is difficult, we know that, but the potential and the power of the club is a completely different one.
“This is a season where you have to have momentum and we never really got it, that is true. But it says nothing about the future, this club is in a really good position. In difficult times, obviously, but in a better position than other clubs I would say.
“I understand about what happened in the past, but what I can say [is that] nobody has to worry about the future of the club because it is in good hands and we have a really good team together.
"That is obviously the best basis for a good future together."
What about players potentially leaving?
Asked if he would expect any of his star players, perhaps Mo Salah or Sadio Mane, to look to leave the club if there was no Champions League football, Klopp was equally bullish.
He said: "I understand and respect all the questions but this is nothing we have to worry about. It was always like this.
"I know that we have loyalty of the players. It's not a situation now where a player says to me: 'Next year we don't have Champions League so I have to leave'.
“That will not happen. I know them well enough for that not to happen because the club is in a different situation.
“It will not be an issue with new players, I can't see that. 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, so it is nothing I worry about.”
Klopp feels he still has owners' support
Klopp addressed the Reds’ poor recent form and spoke about the support of owners Fenway Sports Group.
"We all expect more from us to be honest,” he said. “We are pretty realistic about the things we do and I don't feel that the team leaves me alone to stand in the fire, if that is the right saying?
"In England, nobody above the manager gives interviews. In Germany this situation is typically that the president, CEO or sporting director gives an interview and faces questions over whether someone is the right coach.
"They have to say 'oh yes, we trust him' and all these kinds of things and it's like you feel in the first moment when they have to say that then [the manager] is already halfway out of the door.
"The situation in England is different and in the club [it is] pretty clear as well. The owners want me to sort the situation and I want to sort the situation together with the players, that is the plan."