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Jurgen Klopp calls for more openness about Covid-19 infections within clubs

Leeds United v Liverpool – Premier League – Elland Road
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes there should be more transparency when it comes to players testing positive for Covid-19 to avoid questions over the legitimacy of asking for matches to be postponed.

On Wednesday evening Burnley’s scheduled encounter with Watford at Turf Moor was postponed a matter of hours before kick-off following an outbreak in the Hornets camp.

Tottenham and Manchester United both had to call off Premier League games due to coronavirus cases within the club while Aston Villa went ahead with their fixture at Norwich on Tuesday after two positives among the players.

Klopp, who reported his squad was Covid-free ahead of the visit of Newcastle, believes greater openness would help in the overall decision making.

Liverpool line up before kick-off

Liverpool are Covid free (Nick Potts/PA)

Speaking before the Burnley match was called off, Klopp said: “In the Premier League it would be pretty helpful if we really knew exactly what the situation is.

“From my point of view I don’t know 100 per cent why we are not more open. A lot of people catch Covid. If I catch it – hopefully not – I’d be fine to tell.

“Why do we hide players? No-one knows the number of players, it’s always like ‘Some staff, some players’.

“Come on, say it then everyone can understand you are not able to play. I would prefer that but I’m not sure if from a legal point of view it is possible.

“It’s something which we are all in the same situation as human-beings and I really think no-one should hide it.

“It is absolutely helpful when people know you are not in the best place so they can help you but if people don’t know they can doubt it or whatever – that is why I think a bit more transparency would be helpful.”

Klopp confirmed all staff at the club’s training ground had been double-vaccinated and had their booster jab or were due to and that the situation was very similar among his squad.

“Like the whole world we are concerned about it, absolutely, but we do what we can and the vaccination status of the squad is quite good and I think we got all boosted who were eligible,” he added.

“There were some medical reasons why some were not allowed in that moment but they will be done in the next few days. Hopefully we can do it with the whole team.”

Asked whether a player’s vaccination status would have an impact on his transfer business, Klopp added: “I didn’t think about it yet. I don’t know. Who knows where we will be when we start signing players again?

“We sign players for many different reasons, it is one of them but I don’t know yet.

Liverpool's training centre

All staff at Liverpool’s training ground have been double-vaccinated (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The whole vaccination thing is, for me, a massive question of solidarity, loyalty and togetherness.

“We have the chance to help not only ourselves but other people as well by getting vaccinated. There is only one answer so you do it.”

Health-wise Liverpool’s squad is looking the best it has for some time with just striker Divock Origi (knee), midfielder Harvey Elliott (ankle) and Nat Phillips (fractured cheekbone) out after Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez returned to full team training in the last week.

“Bobby trained completely normally yesterday so I would say he is in contention,” added Klopp.

“Curtis (Jones) had a partial first session with the team so is not far off. Timing-wise it couldn’t be better to be honest.

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“We all know it is a busy period and we need a big squad so to get two players back of this calibre is good news.”

Klopp has no plans to allow Gomez, who has made just eight appearances this season, to leave on loan in January to get game time.

“We are patient and I think Joe is patient now as well,” he said.

“I don’t have any plans to send anyone on loan in the winter. I will not be the driving force, let me say it like this.

“No-one came to me and asked me ‘Can I go somewhere?’”

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