Liverpool handed triple midfield blow as Jurgen Klopp gives defiant response to Newcastle takeover

The Reds boss also vented about Watford’s managerial merry-go-round.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Picture: Liverpool FC/ Youtube

Jurgen Klopp has been speaking to the media ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Watford on Saturday (12.30BST).

Here are the key talking points from the press conference.

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Newcastle takeover

Newcastle’s Saudia Arabia-backed takeover has been dominating the headlines in recent weeks.

The Magpies are now by far the wealthiest club in the world, with the country’s Public Investment Fund estimated at £320 billion.

Newcastle are now expected to splash the cash and soon be challenging for the Champions League places in the Premier League.

However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp responded to the St James’ Park takeover and defiantly decalred: “I’m not concerned.”

He said: “I was waiting for some official statement about it but, as we all know, there are concerns about human rights issues.

“It didn't happen in the first place, happens then and that's the situation.

“What will it mean for football? A few months ago we had an issue with 12 clubs trying to build a Super League. It didn't happen and rightly so but this is kind of creating a super team.

“It is pretty much the same. Guaranteed spots in the Champions League in a few years' time not immediately, with how the financial fair play being used and no-one knowing if it still exists - it is what it is.

Newcastle fans celebrate the club’s takeover outside St James’ Park. Picture: AFP via Getty Images

“Newcastle fans will love it, of course, but for the rest, it means there's a new superpower.

“Money cannot buy everything but over time, they'll make a few long decisions to then make the right decisions and then they'll be where they want to be.

“That's the situation, everyone knows that. It's the third club that's now owned by a country, I'm not sure how many countries out there still have the financial power and interest to do so but this is how it is.

“Much more important than money is good decisions. I'm not concerned about it, I just described the situation.

“When we won the Champions League, there were already two countries involved in the tournament with brilliant teams.

“Football is a wonderful game and can still win games when the financial power of the opponent is bigger than your own.

“It will not happen overnight and Newcastle are not safe in the league this year.

“It's not 100% sure they will stay in the league. That will slow down the process for sure but there will be a lot of changes in the next few years.

“It's a massive project but it's football so of course, you can win games against them.”

Watford’s managerial decisions

There will be a new manager in charge when Liverpool visit Vicarage Road.

Xisco Munoz was the latest Watford boss to have the axe wielded on him and has been replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian is the eighth Hornets chief since the start of the 2016-17 season - and Klopp doesn’t like how many of his colleagues have been axed.

Claudio Ranieri is Watford’s new manager. Picture: Getty Images

The boss said: “How can you be surprised Watford make a change? I respect all football teams and Claudio Ranieri, but from my own situation as a manager, it’s really harsh what Watford are dealing with managers.

“You learn the name of the new colleague and he’s already gone again. I don’t like that and I have to say that.

“I really like Ranieri a lot but how can you be surprised Watford make a chance. Six years in the country and I don’t know how many managers I’ve faced in the Watford dugout.

“We know about Claudio, we’ve faced him a couple of times and I’ve known him for a long time. We have to focus on ourselves and play our game.”

Jones absent

Liverpool have been handed a massive injury blow heading into the game.

Curtis Jones has returned from England under-21 injured and has been ruled out.

Klopp said: "When we talk about federations, Curtis Jones came back from England under-21s injured. Great... it's hard to get in touch with them.

“They played Andorra, really important he played there. Came back with a slight injury, not available for tomorrow.”

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones. Picture: David Ramos/Getty Images

Midfield crisis

To make matters worse, Thiago is no closer to recovering from his calf injury.

Klopp’s unsure when the midfielder will be back available, having missed the past four games.

He said: “Thiago, I don't know. It still takes a bit of time, it's disappointing but we've known that for a few days that it will heal that quick.”

Brazil duo out

Klopp’s confirmed that goalkeeper Alisson and Fabinho will also be absent after going on international duty with Brazil.

However, they will be available for Tuesday’s trip to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

“We have no chance, obviously. It's not in our hands,” added Klopp.

“You have a big squad but not for issues with football associations.

“Atletico are not playing, our next opponent in the Champions League. Something like that will never happen here.

“We've known for a while, we had to sort quarantine issues. The boys will go directly to Madrid, wait for us, hopefully play against Atletico then come back slightly later than us.”