Quick turnaround for Liverpool stars after African Cup final
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane won’t have much time to celebrate, lament or rest after the African Cup of Nations final.
The Liverpool teammates are due back in time for the team’s next English Premier League game on Thursday, when the squad renews its pursuit of league-leading Manchester City.
“I think they will be available,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday. “We will see.”
Egypt and Salah face Senegal and Mane on Sunday night in Cameroon.
“I think Tuesday, or Wednesday latest, the winner will be back and the other one probably slightly earlier,” Klopp said at a news conference ahead of the team’s FA Cup match against Cardiff.
“The one who wins will probably fly back to their home country, the celebration, that’s how it is. If they have one thing, they have rhythm, they’ve played obviously quite a few games,” he said.
Liverpool trails City by nine points and has a game in hand. Leicester visits Anfield on Thursday night.
Klopp’s team hosts Cardiff on Sunday for an FA Cup fourth-round match, and it’s possible new signing Luis Diaz could be in the squad even though the Colombia winger arrived in Liverpool only on Friday.
Liverpool signed Diaz from Porto on the penultimate day of the January transfer window. Klopp described the 25-year-old Diaz as a “late bloomer.” Diaz and Argentina’s Lionel Messi were the co-leading scorers at the last Copa America.
“He’s an exceptional player. He has the speed, he has the skillset, he has the character to have a really good career. We all want him to have this career here with us,” Klopp said.
Liverpool is still interested in yet another attacking player — 19-year-old Fabio Carvalho — who they tried to sign from second-division club Fulham.
“We are obviously still interested,” Klopp said, “it would be crazy if not.”
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