Jurgen Klopp unsure if Sadio Mane will feature in Liverpool's clash with Chelsea

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Jurgen Klopp doesn't yet know if he'll be able to play Sadio Mane for Liverpool's crucial Premier League game with Chelsea

Jurgen Klopp says he will "look into Sadio Mane's eyes" before deciding whether he will play a part in Tuesday's visit of Chelsea.

Liverpool sent a private jet to bring the Senegal forward back from Gabon following his country's elimination from the African Nations Cup at the weekend.

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Mane missed the critical penalty in Senegal's 5-4 shoot-out quarter-final defeat to Cameroon on Saturday, and despite the club arranging for a plane to bring him back, bureaucratic issues meant he was unable to leave Gabon until Monday.

"It was a strange situation in the Senegal game against Cameroon and I wish not for one second he missed the penalty at the end but it happened so he is coming back," Klopp said.

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane reacts after the penalty shootout at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match between Senegal an
Image: Mane's penalty shoot-out miss was costly as Senegal crashed out of African Nations Cup

"The club did an outstanding job to bring him back as soon as possible and he is now on his way. We thought it would be possible yesterday: we had a plane there but he was not allowed to go in the plane so we had to wait.

"I don't know exactly [when he will be available]. He will be here tonight but I spoke to him and it is all good so far. He will be in tomorrow morning and we have to make a decision. We have to look in his eyes and see whatever is possible."

Liverpool have struggled since Mane departed for international duty, winning just once since his last involvement in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland on January 2.

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Sadio Mane celebrates his winner for Liverpool at Everton in the Premier League
Image: Mane scored an added-time winner in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park

The Reds have also been knocked out of both the EFL and FA Cups and seen their title challenge falter to such an extent they are now battling to stay in the top four.

"He is a quality player," Klopp admitted. "It is easier if you have him in the team or around the team than when you don't have him. That's fair.

"But it is not that he can decide games by himself or we should expect this.

Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the pre-season International Champions Cup football match between
Image: The Senegal forward has scored nine goals in 19 Premier League games this season

"We came through December and most of January without Phil Coutinho [who was out for nearly seven weeks with ankle ligament damage].

"I spoke about a few reasons about why it was not good in January but I don't want to think about the last few games any more.

"He is kind of an option for the Chelsea game. He is back at least for the Hull game and that is good for us. We have to decide whether we can involve him for tomorrow somehow or not.

Adam Lallana celebrates after opening the scoring for Liverpool against Middlesbrough
Image: Adam Lallana is set to return for visit of Chelsea

"Everything is like it was before he left. It is a very good player back for selection, that can only be good news."

Nathaniel Clyne missed training due to a rib injury and looks doubtful for Tuesday's match with league leaders Chelsea at Anfield.

Klopp also confirmed that youngster Ovie Ejaria faces a spell on the sidelines after rupturing ankle ligaments at the weekend but Adam Lallana took part in training and is in line to return to the side.

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