Liverpool won't force Salah to stay, says Klopp

COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT TO FOLLOW

VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITN LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, FILE FOOTAGE OF MOHAMED SALAH AND ANFIELD

SHOWS:

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 24, 2020) (LIVERPOOL FC HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING:

"We all could look for something else if you want but I think the only reason to leave Liverpool at the moment is really the weather. So, and even that is good. 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. We have a fan base all over the world. So, our colours are red, which is the nicest colour anyway. So, what is the reason? You cannot force people to stay but that's it. We never did by the way. It's all about timing, the right moments and stuff like this. We make changes and bring players in. If a player wants to go then we cannot probably hold him back; it's just that I would not understand why somebody would want to go. And when Mo (Mohamed Salah) answered the question it was that these clibs might be interested in him and he didn't rule out that... imagine, OK I'm different because if you asked me, you ask me a lot about these things about your contract and stuff, but if you ask any player in the world who's not playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid and then you ask him 'can you imagine playing for these one day?' And he would say, 'No, not for them; really Spanish... they're not the big ones in Spain'. Why should he say that? The only thing he said is that we will see. We will see. And about Liverpool it's in the club's hands and stuff like this. That's, yes, maybe true, maybe not true. Not true... it's true 100% but it's about talks and having talked about the future and these kind of things. So, it's really all fine. You obviously have not a lot to talk about and that's why you made of one interview a really long story which is completely fine but that doesn't make it more important to me in the moment. Mo is a very important player for me, obviously but this story around isn't."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - OCTOBER 26, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2020)

2. MOHAMED SALAH IN TRAINING SESSION

3. LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP WATCHING SESSION

4. SALAH TRAINING

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - NOVEMBER 2, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2020")

5. SALAH WALKING OUT TO TRAINING WITH TEAM MATES

6. VARIOUS OF SALAH STRETCHING

7. WIDE OF LIVERPOOL TRAINING SESSION

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

8. VARIOUS OF KENNY DALGLISH STAND AT ANFIELD STADIUM

9. SHANKLY GATES

10. CREST ON SHANKLY GATES

11. LIVERPOOL FLAG

12. VARIOUS OF THE BILL SHANKLY STATUE AT KOP END

13. INSCRIPTION ON STATUE READING (English) "Bill Shankly He made the people happy"

14. VARIOUS OF THE KOP STAND

15. SIGN ON STADIUM, READING (English) "THE KOP"

16. VARIOUS OF JUERGEN KLOPP MURAL

STORY: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp sees no reason why Mohamed Salah would want to leave the Premier League champions but says he would not keep the Egyptian forward at the club against his will.

Salah told Spanish newspaper AS in an interview this month that he admired Real Madrid and Barcelona, fuelling talk in the British media that he was looking to move on.

"I think the only reason to leave Liverpool at the moment is the weather. What other reason could be there?" Klopp said at a news conference.

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the world, we pay good money ... we have a sensational stadium with outstanding supporters.

"You cannot force people to stay but that is it ... We make changes and bring players in and if a player wants to go then we cannot, probably not hold him back; it's just that I would not understand why somebody would want to go."

Salah was left on the bench for last weekend's 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, but still scored two goals when he came on to help the leaders maintain their fine form.

He became Liverpool's all-time top scorer in the Champions League earlier this month in a 1-1 draw at Denmark's Midtjylland.

Klopp said Salah's comments about the Spanish sides were not an indication of his desire to leave Liverpool.

"If you ask any player in the world who is not playing for Barcelona or Madrid if he can imagine playing there one day and he said: 'No, Spanish football is not for me,' why would he say that?

"Mo is a very important player for me obviously but this story around is not."

Liverpool are top of the table with 31 points from 14 games, four clear of second-placed Leicester City. They face West Bromwich Albion, who are second from bottom, on Sunday (December 27).

(Production: Tim Hart)