Klopp backs Salah over wedding visit, COVID test

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Jurgen Klopp has said there are no problems with Mohamed Salah after the Liverpool forward attended a wedding in Egypt and then tested positive for the coronavirus.

Salah is out of Liverpool’s match with Premier League leaders Leicester City on Sunday after returning a positive COVID-19 test while on international duty, but Klopp defended the Egypt international, who was pictured celebrating his brother’s wedding among other guests.

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Salah will fly back to Liverpool on Friday, having returned another positive test on Wednesday.

Salah will travel back to the UK on a “medical-equipped private jet” — according to the Egyptian FA — with Arsenal‘s Mohamed Elneny, who also tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’ve been in close contact with him [Salah] all over the time,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday. “When you have a negative test, the process starts. He’s in a good place, he feels well, he has no symptoms. Nothing to say in public about the situation.

“What I can tell you is that I was in Germany in the summer. A friend moved his birthday party because of me because I was in Germany. Fifty people attended that and at the last minute I decided not to go. That was only a birthday party and it was allowed in Germany at the time. It was outside but I didn’t go. In other countries and situations there are different social pressures on you.

“A brother’s wedding is a very special moment. What I can say about my players: they are incredibly disciplined. They really know about the situation. All the rest is between Mo and me. We are fine.”

Klopp’s preparations for the visit of Brendan Rodgers’ side have been disrupted with further injuries to an already depleted squad.

Joe Gomez has undergone surgery on the knee injury he picked up with England, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson will both miss Sunday’s match due to a calf problem and a groin issue respectively.

Klopp would not be drawn on whether Fabinho, Thiago or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be available. With Virgil van Dijk and Gomez long-term absentees, Klopp has just one fit senior centre-back in Joel Matip, but said this is not a time to look for excuses.

“We don’t feel sorry for ourselves, or any self-pity,” Klopp added. “You are in the solution process a minute after getting the news. We will fight with all we have.”

“We are a unit, a proper unit, the more problems we have, the closer we stick together. We don’t go for excuses — we don’t like injuries as it’s hard for the boys but all the rest, it’s working on solutions.”