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Klopp: Balotelli decision not imminent

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are yet to make a decision on the futures of Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic, with the manager keen to maintain a balanced squad.

Out-of-favour striker Balotelli is expected to leave Anfield after training away from a first-team squad that now includes off-season recruit Sadio Mane, together with fellow attackers Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings.

Winger Markovic, 22, has failed to convince in a Liverpool shirt and spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce.

“I will inform you immediately when the decision is close,” Klopp said when asked about the reports linking the pair with moves away.

“No decision in the next few minutes. Nothing to say about this.”

In addition to Mane, Liverpool have brought in Loris Karius, Ragnar Klavan, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Manninger.

High-profile players Christian Benteke, Joe Allen, Jordon Ibe, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure have been moved on, with one week remaining for the club to finalise any further business ahead of the transfer window’s closure.

“When it’s the 1st of September we have to analyse the situation, but building a squad means everybody has [to have] the prospect of playing,” Klopp said.

“The players must be convinced they have to start and be angry when they don’t start.

“For a good atmosphere all players need to see their [team-mates’] perspective. In our situation the squad should not be too big, we still have a lot of games but we don’t have 60 something games.”

Klopp knows Liverpool will face a stern examination against last season’s title challengers Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the early kick-off on Saturday, calling on his players to show they are a match for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

“They are a high pressure team, they don’t give away a lot spaces – but there are spaces,” he said.

“We know they are strong, but we can be strong too. We should show this.”

Thu 25 Aug, 2016
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