Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool squad that any player who only wants to play Champions League football is free to leave.
Liverpool’s hopes of finishing in the top four were dented after a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday — the result meant the club have lost five successive games at Anfield for the first time in their history.
Klopp’s men remain in sixth position in the Premier League table and four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but the German said he was confident his group of players would remain loyal if they finish outside of the Champions League spots.
“[Loyalty from players] is not something we have to worry about,” he told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s home clash against Fulham.
“I know that we have the loyalty of the players and it’s not a situation where a player of this squad says next year we don’t play Champions League so we have to leave. That will not happen, I know them enough to know that and it will not be an issue with new players.
“We said it earlier, years back, if a player doesn’t want to come to us because we don’t play in the Champions League next year, I don’t want him.
“If a player wants to leave us because we don’t play Champions League, I don’t want him. It’s not a personal thing but you always need to find the right squad for the challenges you face and then you go for it. It’s nothing that I worry about.”
Liverpool have competed in the Champions League in all but one season since Klopp took charge at Anfield in 2015 and won the competition with 2-0 win over Tottenham in the 2019 final.