Jurgen Klopp clarifies Mohamed Salah's Liverpool return: 'He's the most loyal Egyptian I've met'

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on Mohamed Salah's return to Liverpool: "If he stays in Africa and they can't do the proper treatment, it will just delay everything. We bring him here not because we want to take him away from Egypt but just to offer the best medical treatment."

Image: Jurgen Klopp has defended Mohamed Salah's return to Liverpool from the Africa Cup of Nations

Jurgen Klopp has defended Mohamed Salah's return to Liverpool from the Africa Cup of Nations, hitting back at critics questioning the forward's loyalty to Egypt.

Salah returned to Liverpool on Wednesday to begin an "intensive rehabilitation programme" after picking up a muscle injury in Egypt's 2-2 draw with Ghana last Thursday.

Liverpool and Egypt's Mohamed Salah went off injured with what looked like a muscle injury during Egypt's AFCON clash with Ghana in Ivory Coast

An agreement was reached between the Premier League club and the Egyptian FA for Salah to return to Merseyside for treatment but his departure from Egypt's camp was criticised by some pundits and former players.

But speaking after Liverpool's Carabao Cup semi-final success against Fulham, Klopp clarified Salah's return from the Africa Cup of Nations and said he will feature for Egypt in the latter stages of the tournament if fit.

"I cannot be part of that discussion," Klopp said to beIN SPORTS when asked about Salah potentially putting his club first. "Egypt and Liverpool both have the same interest, we want Mo Salah fit as soon as possible.


"If he stays in Africa and they can't do the proper treatment, it will just delay everything, especially for Egypt if they go through the tournament.

"We bring him here not because we want to take him away from Egypt but just to offer the best medical treatment. That is all we want.

"It's all agreed. If Salah is fit and Egypt go to the final, it was always clear, he goes back, 100 per cent. Mo wants that, we want that. We don't plan with Mo and think we can do a little bit here or there."

'Salah the most loyal Egyptian I've met'

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah expresses his views on the upcoming games in the AFCON after he suffered an injury that may rule him out for the rest of their tournament

Speaking after Liverpool's 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday, which moved them five points clear at the top of the Premier League, Klopp said "it makes sense" for Salah to complete his rehab with "our people".

But Klopp's comments irritated Egypt boss Rui Vitoria, who criticised the German for discussing Salah's fitness before Monday's AFCON match with Cape Verde.

Egypt manager Rui Vitoria has hit out at Liverpool for suggesting that Mohamed Salah would be returning home after picking up an injury during AFCON

When asked if his comments could have put pressure on Salah to return to Liverpool, Klopp added: "We are completely honest, and if I said something too early… what I said, I didn't announce it, I said 'I think it's agreed' that's what I heard. I have so many things to do and so many things going on around me.

"The rest, some people make something out of it, and if somebody questions the loyalty of Mo Salah they should ask themselves if their loyalty is right, because Mo Salah is definitely the most loyal Egyptian I've met in my life."

Klopp: We matched Fulham's desire to reach Carabao Cup final

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted his side held their nerve against Fulham, winning 3-2 on aggregate to secure their place in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea

Meanwhile, Klopp was delighted his Liverpool side matched Fulham's desire to reach the Carabao Cup final after the Reds secured their place at Wembley with a spirited 1-1 second-leg draw at Craven Cottage.

Luis Diaz put the Reds in the driving seat in the first half and despite Issa Diop's 76th-minute equaliser giving Fulham late hope, Liverpool sealed a 3-2 aggregate win after their 2-1 victory at Anfield earlier this month.

Klopp lauded his side's spirit in the late stages as they now ready themselves for a repeat of the 2022 final against Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea.

"We were just ready for this game and that's the most important thing. I saw Marco Silva's press conference and we know what this game meant to them and so I told the boys we have to also show it," Klopp said.

Highlights of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage

"We had to show it to the outside world that we wanted it as much as them and I saw that.

"We had to get over the line and we did. It feels great, we are really happy, the boys wanted it and they got it and so we have 10 games to play before the final in four weeks or so. We are looking forward to Wembley."

Liverpool defeated Chelsea in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals two years ago and Klopp believes the Blues will be motivated to get their revenge.

He added: "It will be a big one but we all know it's against Chelsea. They will want to put history right after playing us twice two years ago."

Next Liverpool and Egypt fixtures

The Football Show panel look at the Liverpool games Mohamed Salah could miss following his hamstring injury and explain why losing his creativity could be a problem for Jurgen Klopp

Jan 24: Fulham vs Liverpool, Carabao Cup semi-final, second leg - live on Sky Sports

Jan 28: Liverpool vs Norwich, FA Cup

Jan 28: Egypt vs Congo DR, AFCON round of 16, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

Jan 31: Liverpool vs Chelsea, Premier League

Feb 2: Egypt or Congo DR vs Equatorial Guinea or Guinea, AFCON quarter-final, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky SPorts

Feb 4: Arsenal vs Liverpool, Premier League - live on Sky Sports

Feb 10: Liverpool vs Burnley, Premier League

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Correctly predict six scorelines to win £250,000 for free with Super 6. Entries by 3pm Saturday.