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Liverpool to hold talks in attempt to reduce Africa Cup of Nations disruption

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is preparing for life without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as the two are set to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations in January

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‘Three dirty points’ satisfy Klopp as Liverpool beat Atleti

Liverpool will hold talks aimed at reducing the time their key players are away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Under current rules, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is facing the nightmare of losing his two biggest attacking stars Mo Salah and Sadio Mane for potentially eight crucial games in the new year.

Naby Keita will also be asked to report for duty for the tournament, which takes place in Cameroon in January, and Liverpool ‘s squad would be severely stretched by such an absence.

FIFA rules state that qualifying clubs can ask for their players to be released on December 27, for a tournament that runs until the second week of February.



Liverpool are set to be without Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in January
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Image:

Getty Images)




The Mersey club face up to eight matches in that time, with pivotal games for their season against the likes of Chelsea and Leicester in the Premier League, and an FA Cup third round tie, while they could also be involved in the EFL Cup semi final.

Klopp though, has a good relationship with all three national teams, and he is hoping talks during the next international break in November will persuade the three countries to release their players in January instead.

Liverpool face Chelsea on January 2, and if Salah and Mane leave after that game, it would still give them more than a week to prepare for the opening fixtures.









Senegal and Guinea play their opening matches on January 10, while Egypt are in action on the 11th.

The final of the competition is scheduled for February 6, and if an agreement can be reached, then all three players could be cleared to face Leicester and Chelsea, which would be a huge boost for the Reds.

Speaking about the timing of the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2020, Klopp said: “I like the competition… “[but] the African Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.

Should the Africa Cup of Nations be played in January? Let us know in the comments below







“On top of that we have absolutely no power so if we did say, ‘We don’t let him go’, the player is suspended.

“How is that possible that the company who pays the player cannot decide that the player has to stay or not?”

Klopp meanwhile, is hoping that midfielder Thiago will be cleared to resume training, allowing him to return for the Reds at some point in the next week. Curtis Jones should also be back at the weekend.


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