Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah will be fit for the Champions League final, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed. The manager said the pair would miss Liverpool’s trip to Southampton on Tuesday but could return for the Premier League finale against Wolves.
Liverpool’s influential defender and leading goalscorer were substituted during the FA Cup win against Chelsea with knee and groin issues respectively. Both will be absent at St Mary’s Stadium, where a Liverpool win would reduce Manchester City’s lead in the title race to one point with one game to play, but there are no concerns over their involvement against Real Madrid on 28 May. Klopp planned to rest Van Dijk at Southampton before injury intervened.
Klopp, asked whether Salah or Van Dijk could feature on Tuesday, replied: “No. Virgil definitely not. That was pretty much clear before the game already. We thought this was the game [to rest him] because he played really a lot. Saturday-Tuesday again was clear.
“They are both OK. The target for both would be that they could be involved again at the weekend. Properly involved. On the bench and on for a few minutes or start – we will see with that because that would be perfect for the [Madrid] game. If not, we take each day afterwards. It is very positive and we have no doubt about the Champions League final but we are pretty realistic about the Wolves game. But tomorrow, not.”
Klopp has reiterated that the financial package it would take to sign Kylian Mbappé is beyond Liverpool’s means. The France international is expected to join Real Madrid when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires next month, although there have been reports of another club entering the race for the striker. Klopp, who tried to sign Mbappé from Monaco, insists it is not Liverpool.
“Of course we are interested in Kylian Mbappé; we are not blind,” he said. “I have nothing to say about that [a reported approach] but between Kylian and Liverpool it’s all set, it’s all fine. We of course like him and if you don’t like him then you have to question yourself but, no, we are not, we cannot, be part of these battles. There must be other clubs involved and that is fine. He is a great player.”
‘They wouldn’t do it without a reason’: Klopp on Liverpool fans booing national anthem – video
Klopp, meanwhile, has said there must be good reason why fans of the club booed Abide With Me, the Duke of Cambridge and the national anthem before the FA Cup final on Saturday.
“In these situations I think it’s always best to ask the question: ‘Why do they do it? I know our people well enough that they would not do it if there was no reason. I am not here long enough to understand the reason. It’s for sure something historical, and that’s a question you can answer better than I ever could.
“Our fans, and I know a few fans from other clubs see it slightly differently, the majority are wonderful people, smart and go through lows and highs, suffer together. They wouldn’t do it if there was no reason. That’s what I know. Maybe we should ask this question.”
The Liverpool manager’s stance drew criticism from Boris Johnson’s official spokesman, who said there was no reason to boo the national anthem and it was a “great shame” given the FA Cup is meant to “bring people together”.