Xenia Sports – London
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits it is a challenge handling players like Mohamed Salah because of the high expectations he sets himself.
The Egypt international is the Premier League’s leading scorer with 13 goals in as many matches – his best start to a season – but that has not stopped speculation about his position at Anfield.
An interview published in Spanish media, coming around the time he was left on the bench for the 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace, suggested there may be rumblings of discontent from a player who has won the Champions League and Premier League.
In a wide-ranging interview Salah spoke about “top clubs” like Barcelona and Real Madrid, but also talked about wanting to break records at Liverpool.
Klopp accepts that ambition is sometimes tricky to handle.
“It is challenging to manage players in general because they are all human beings. It is challenging in a good way. That is my job,” he said.
“The thing with footballers is they need to be extremely confident, then they can play their best football.
“Being extremely confident makes you a special person but not always the easiest to deal with every day. That’s the job. To deal with it.
“So far there has been no problem. I do not see there being a problem in the future.”
Klopp dismissed suggestions Salah could be manoeuvring himself into a position for a move to either of the Spanish giants.
And he cannot understand why the Egyptian would want to go anywhere else considering the success he and the team have had in the last couple of years.
“We could all look for something else if we want, but I think the only reason to leave Liverpool at the moment is the weather,” he added ahead of Sunday’s visit of West Brom.
“What other reason could be there? This is one of the biggest clubs in the world, we pay good money – maybe not the most in the world, but we pay good – and we have a sensational stadium with outstanding supporters.
“You cannot force people to stay but that is it. We never did by the way. It is all about timing, the right moment, stuff like this.
“We make changes and bring players in and if a player wants to go we cannot hold them back, it is just I wouldn’t understand why they would want to go.
“When Mo answered the question it was that these clubs might be interested and he didn’t rule out that.
“The only thing he said was ‘We shall see’ and about Liverpool it is in the club’s hands.
“It is true 100 per cent and it is about having talks about the future. It is really all fine.
“Mo is a very important player for me, obviously, but this story around is not.”