'You'll know when I do' - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gets prickly over transfer questions
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that as soon as it is formally established that Mario Balotelli’s inevitable departure from Anfield is imminent, he’ll gladly inform the rest of us.
The troublesome Italian striker, who spent last season on loan at AC Milan, before the San Siro giants passed on the opportunity to make his stay permanent, has long since been informed that he has no future under Klopp.
He has attracted the interest of French side Nice and Switzerland’s Sion but Liverpool, hoping to recoup some of the £16m they paid for the mercurial attacker two years ago, are yet to receive a formal offer.
Indeed, Mamadou Sakho is said to be heading out on loan after a tumultuous summer that saw him fail a drugs test before being exonerated by UEFA, but the centre half was then sent home by Klopp from Liverpool’s recent tour of America due to issues of discipline.
Mark Hughes is reportedly very interested in bringing the Frenchman to Stoke City, who recently offloaded Ireland defender Marc Wilson to Bournemouth.
Speaking today ahead of Saturday’s trip to Spurs, where the Reds will look to bounce back from last weekend’s shock 2-0 loss to Burnley, Klopp had little new information on the pair or, for that matter, Lazar Markovic, who has been linked with several Italian clubs.
“We wait until September 1 and then we analyse the situation. Our squad shouldn’t be too big. We don’t have 60 games,” he said of possible departures in the current window.
“I will inform you immediately when the decision is close. No decision in the next few minutes. Nothing to say about this.”
The former Borussia Dortmund boss is unsure if Emre Can or Divock Origi will be fit for the trip to White Hart Lane after the pair picked up injuries in the midweek defeat of Burton in the EFL Cup.
Can was forced off early in the second half with an ankle issue, while Origi was later called ashore with what is said to be cramp.
“There’s a few players in a bit of doubt. Emre, nothing really serious. It’s his ankle Can has had problems with in past. It’s the same situation with Divock. I’m not for sure they’ll be available.”
Klopp gave a measured response to questions about Daniel Sturridge’s recent comments that he is not particularly impressed with being deployed on the right flank and wishes to be utilised in his more natural position as a central striker.
Klopp favours versatility in his attackers, and started Sturridge on wing for the Burnley loss, before replacing him after the hour and then introduced him in the same position during the 5-0 victory over Burton, with the England international netting a late brace.
"It’s not that you play there and wait until something happens. It’s flexible football. It’s about getting in and around the box,” he said.
"Daniel is a very smart player. He’s good at getting himself into positions where it’s not easy to defend."