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REPORT: Jurgen Klopp dismisses Erling Haaland claims about Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah

 

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Jurgen Klopp believes the resolution of Mohamed Salah’s long-term future will give Liverpool an added boost in the early part of the new Premier League campaign.

 

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And the Reds boss has praised the No.11 for how he handled himself during the times of uncertainty as he entered the final 12 months of his previous terms at Anfield.

Salah signed a three-year extension at the start of July to make him the highest-paid player of all time at Liverpool with a heavily-incentivised salary believed to be between £350,000 and £400,000 a week, depending on various factors.

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Klopp believes Salah will benefit from having secured his stay in the north west further as he backed the Egyptian to once more be an integral part of the plan at Anfield.

 

“It is of course much better than if we would have been out of contract next summer,” Klopp said. “Mo would have been the same person, I am 100% sure he could have pushed that aside, but you would not stop asking and that is the problem we constantly face.

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“You asked me how he was in training and it’s because ‘ah, the contract’. You ask the players and they say ‘yesterday he was all right’ but these things help, yes.

“It helps much better to know exactly as much as possible about the season after rather than one year, but in the year itself it is not that relevant. I have worked with players in that time and not seen it one day and I, as a player, would have been more influenced by this fact that I don’t know where I am next year than these players were.

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“It was Gini Wijnaldum, Emre Can, it was Robert Lewandowski at Dortmund, these boys are real professionals.

 

But we live in a world where everything is important and you have questions all the time and you give an answer and then you think about it and that is different because we all know exactly where we all will be.

 

“As clear as it was for him and in the end I said it for me, we would get the deal over the line, but it was still an open thing, and everyone talks about it and stuff like this, we are humans, but I didn’t see it distracting him a lot to be honest.”

 

Salah’s form in front of goal tailed off in the second half of last term as he registered just eight of his 31 after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon where his Egypt side were beaten on penalties in the final by Senegal in early February.

 

Klopp also dismissed suggestions that Salah will find extra motivation from outscoring the likes of team-mate Darwin Nunez and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, two strikers who have joined the Premier League this summer at a cost of £115m combined.

 

Klopp added: “Mo had one of the most intense seasons ever, with the Africa Cup of Nations and all of our games.

Everyone talks about us playing 63 games and stuff like this, but we had some players who played a tournament in between as well, which is absolutely ridiculous.

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“After a few weeks of holiday, Mo is always full of power and energy and he came back in a good shape and, yes, knowing where he will be, I wouldn’t say the rest of his career because he is player who can play on much longer, but for the next very, very important years in his career. Yes, that gave all of us a boost and him as well. He looked really sharp in the whole pre-season to be honest. Long may it continue, that would be really cool.

“New strikers are coming. In Germany when Robert Lewandowski left, [the talk was] ‘who will be the new goalscorer’ that is what they discussed. I don’t know, people are motivated by different things, I think Mo’s biggest motivation is to win football games and to score, that is definitely the case.

 

I don’t think he thinks too often about other players or how often they score. He might do it in May when he has hopefully 34 or 35 and the other two (Haaland and Nunez) have 32. Before then, I couldn’t see that.”

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