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Klopp won’t buy cover for Liverpool’s African Nations stars

Liverpool (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a move into the transfer market to cover for the Liverpool stars set to take part in the African Nations Cup.

Liverpool are set to lose the services of Egypt forward Mohamed Salah, Senegal winger Sadio Mane and Guinea midfielder Naby Keita when the tournament gets under way in Cameroon.

In a major blow to Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Premier League title, Klopp could be without that trio from January 9 to February 6.

But the Reds boss, whose second-placed side host Newcastle on Thursday, has no plans to make stand-in signings when the transfer window opens on January 1.

“We knew three would be qualified and be there and we knew that at least two of them will go pretty far in the tournament,” Klopp told reporters on Wednesday.

“Can you be prepared for something like that, properly, perfectly? Like a one-for-one replacement for Sadio, a replacement for Mo, one replacement for Naby?

“That’s tricky in each situation but I am happy with the squad and we have options to play and still to play football.

“We are quite confident we will find solutions.”

Klopp accepts Liverpool may not be at their best without Salah, who has been in sublime form this season, and Mane, who is back to his best after a dip last term.

But he believes they will find a way to win games to keep them in a gripping title race with leaders Manchester City and European champions Chelsea.

“Whoever will play in the period when the three boys are not here, will have a plan, and gives us a chance to win a football game,” Klopp said.

“Can we play exactly the same kind of football? Probably not – but who cares? Then we play the football we are able to play then.

“You cannot always have the perfect solution. In this case we are far away from being the perfect solution without these players but we knew it and we now we have to deal with it.”

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