Liverpool make Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane transfer decision after AFCON 'catastrophe'

Posted Saturday, January 18, 2020 by

Liverpool make Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane transfer decision after AFCON 'catastrophe'
Jurgen Klopp is not happy about the Africa Cup of Nations being moved (Image: GETTY)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is not happy about the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations being moved.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has called the decision to move the Africa Cup of Nations back to mid-season a “catastrophe” but insists the switch won’t force the club into thinking about selling the likes of Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane. European clubs were thrilled last year when the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations was moved to take place in the summer months in Egypt.

But the Confederation of African Football have decided to revert back to the usual winter months for the 2021 tournament being held in Cameroon.

It once again means some of Europe’s best players will be unavailable for selection during a busy domestic fixture time of the season.

Liverpool could be one of the worst affected by this change with Salah, Mane and Naby Keita expected to be at the tournament with their respective countries.

That would leave Klopp short three of his key first team players for up to six weeks potentially.

And the Liverpool boss couldn’t hide his disappointment at the decision of the Confederation of African Football.

“I couldn't respect the Africa Cup of Nations more than I do because I like the competition," he said.

“But it is an obvious problem that you play a tournament in the middle of the season.

“The African Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.

“On top of that we have absolutely no power so if we did say 'We don't let him go' the player is suspended.

“How is that possible that the company who pays the player cannot decide that the player has to stay or not?

“But I speak here about it and no-one will listen. It is like the biggest waste of time ever. The Moaner from Liverpool or whatever is again on track.”

And while Klopp insists there will be no reason for Liverpool to sell their African players, he admits it presents an issue in the transfer market for any potential incomings.

“Another thing is it doesn't help African players. We will not sell Sadio, Mo or Naby now because they have a tournament in January and February – of course not – but if you have to make a decision about bringing in a player it is a massive one because before the season you know for four weeks you don't have them,” he added.

“That's a normal process and as a club you have to think about these things.

“But these decisions are made without asking the players, without asking the managers, without asking anyone.”

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