Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ignores Sadio Mane speculation but worried about new Paris ground – Reuters Sports News

By AFP

BET: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shrugged off the distraction of speculation over Sadio Mane’s future as he prepared for Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid at a new ground at the Stade de France .

Mane, whose contract expires in 2023, has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

The Senegalese told reporters this week he would reveal a “special” answer to questions about where he will play next season after the final.

“Now is not the right time to talk about it. Wherever Sadio plays next season, he will be a great player,” Klopp said when asked if Mane would be a good addition to the Bundesliga.

“Bayern Munich rumors don’t matter to me at the moment. Sadio is fully focused on the game, no worries.

“It’s not the first time in my life that rumors of a big Bayern Munich game have come up.”

It was a reference to the 2013 Champions League final when Mario Goetze lined up for Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in a 2-1 loss to Bayern despite having already agreed to join the Bavarians the next season.

Klopp also suffered defeat in his second European Cup final when Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kyiv in 2018.

But the Reds bounced back the following year to beat Tottenham in Madrid and lift the trophy for a sixth time.

A highly anticipated rematch between two of the most decorated clubs in Champions League history will take place on a laid ground this week.

Klopp expressed concern that signs indicating where each section of the new turf has been installed are still clearly visible.

“Usually when a pitch looks new it’s good news. That pitch is new since yesterday, obviously that’s not the best news but for both teams,” he added.

“That someone thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch to the stadium the day before the game is an interesting idea.

“It didn’t kill my mood by one percent. As long as both teams have the same circumstances, that’s fine with me.”

“Exceptional” season

Liverpool are looking to complete a hat-trick in Paris having already won the Coupe de la Ligue and the FA Cup.

Klopp’s men fell just short of an unprecedented quadruple as they missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by one point.

But he acknowledged that his side’s season will be judged by whether they win or lose in the French capital.

“If you’re a footballer, you know what my boys have done so far this season has been outstanding,” Klopp said.

“But we all know you’re judged by the color of the medal after a game. I’m more than happy and proud of what we’ve done so far, it’s really special.

“I’ll feel better if we win the game and that’s all I’m worried about.”

Paris was only chosen as the venue for the final in February after St. Petersburg was stripped of its host role due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The fact that the game is still going on and it’s not in Saint Petersburg is maybe exactly the right message that Russia should get,” Klopp said.

“Life goes on even when you try to destroy it.

“We are playing this final not only but also for all Ukrainians. I’m pretty sure there are some who can watch it and we are doing it for you 100 per cent.”

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