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Klopp reveals plan to make his Liverpool stars see Red — by dropping them

Date Posted,August 2, 2017

Jurgen Klopp wants his players to be angry with him… because it means he will have created a winning mentality.

The Liverpool boss has cut a frustrated figure in the transfer window so far, forced repeatedly to deny claims that Kop playmaker Philippe Coutinho is heading to Barcelona.

The German has been emphatic in his assertion the Reds will not sell a single player he wants to keep. His target is to have two equally-matched players vying for each position, and if that means some players lashing out at him, then he will gladly take it on the chin.

Talking about wanted-man Coutinho, Klopp said: “Everybody thought, ‘He’s going, he’s going, he’s going’ but so far, ­nobody is going.

Klopp is looking forward to selection dilemmas and angry knocks on his office door (Image: Bongarts/Getty)

“If we stay together, there will be a few hard decisions because only 11 players can start a match. If some are angry with me, no problem — three days later, there is another game…”

Klopp, waiting on ­Friday’s draw for the Champions League ­play-off round that will decide who advances to the group stage, could be handed a reunion with one of the first ­players he upset upon arriving at Anfield.

France’s Nice are one of five clubs the Reds could face, and that would mean coming up against Mario Balotelli — whom Klopp dumped as quickly as he could in his first year in charge of Liverpool.

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Balotelli responded with some stinging criticism of the German’s management style, but the Reds’ boss offers no apologies for his determination to make his side play better by bringing in top-level stars to challenge those already there.

“I always said I wanted to improve this team and there are two ways of doing that – by training and by signing new players. We have done both,” he said.

“The signings are good. Either they play or they push another player. Now it’s more difficult to play all the time.”

The summer-long Van Dijk saga is moving slowly towards a familiar conclusion (Image: AFP/Getty)

Only Mohamed Salah has so far arrived as a likely first-choice player but more will follow, with centre-back Virgil van Dijk inching towards a move from Southampton.

Already Klopp has ­selection dilemmas.

In Germany, on Liverpool’s pre-season tour , the likes of Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum — two of the stars of last season — found themselves outside the starting XI.

Wijnaldum and Lallana may not start as much this season but won’t be sold (Image: Liverpool FC/Getty)

That is precisely what the manager wants.

He will fight tooth and nail to ensure Coutinho stays, but he will fight just as hard to keep hold of players such as Lallana and Daniel Sturridge, even though they may not be guaranteed a

first-team place.

That’s the new reality.

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