Jurgen Klopp has shrugged off Mohamed Salah’s tweet that there was “no excuse” for Liverpool’s failure to qualify for the Champions League as a “completely normal” reaction to their disappointment.
After six successive top-four finishes, which led to three Champions League finals and victory in the competition in 2019, Liverpool were condemned to fifth place this season when Manchester United beat Chelsea on Thursday.
And then Salah tweeted: “I’m totally devastated. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed. We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum.”
But Klopp insisted it was just a spur-of-the-moment reaction and said his top scorer is fine now.
He said: “It is completely normal. In the world of social media so many bad things happen constantly and I don’t think that was one of them. It was just a normal description of his situation, of his feeling, and in that moment directly after the game he’s right. It’s not the moment to immediately any send optimistic messages but maybe an hour or a day later.
“The moment when it is a fact you cannot qualify for the Champions League anymore… even when I knew after the last game [against Aston Villa] they [Newcastle and Manchester United] need only one point, for me it was clear they would get that point. So I drew kind of a line underneath it. I’m a very optimistic person but, in this moment, I couldn’t see it.
“It was just a normal description of his feeling, and he’s right, but I saw him in the canteen an hour ago and he was smiling. He is not in a bad mood.”
Liverpool’s season will end at Southampton on Sunday when Darwin Nunez may be fit again to feature and Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konate are doubts.
Klopp has admitted that Fabio Carvalho could leave Liverpool on loan next season after a tough first year at Anfield.
He said: “This was not Fabio’s best year in his career but it might have been Fabio’s most important. No player has impressed me more. It is true. This talented boy came here with big dreams and big expectations. It didn’t work out but his work ethic will give him a fantastic career. I am not sure if he goes on loan or we keep him.”
Klopp believes Liverpool, who want to sign two midfielders this summer, could struggle to get their top transfer targets straight away but is unconcerned providing they arrive by early July.
Liverpool often make early signings in windows and Klopp added: It’s always possible things don’t go as quick as you want. It’s not only possible, it is probably likely. The better the players you want the lesser is the desire of the other club to let him go.
“And that’s exactly what we are prepared for. But it’s a long window and a long pre-season and a long break in between so we have time if we get in players tomorrow or in six or seven weeks it is not a game-changer for me.”