Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that midfielder Adam Lallana, a player he called ‘one of the most important’ of his time in charge at Anfield, will probably not play for the Reds again in order to protect a summer transfer to his next club. Leicester are favourites to sign him.
Lallana was due to be out of contract at the end of June. But even though he signed a temporary extension to cover the remainder of the campaign, the former Southampton star will not play in the remaining games so as not to jeopardise his future by potentially picking up an injury.
Given that Liverpool have already secured the Premier League title and the only thing left to play for is chasing records, Klopp is happy to let Lallana sit it out.
“For now, I miss already everything about him and in this moment he is still here. He is an outstanding player and he is one of the most influential players on the training quality I’ve ever had in my life,” the Reds boss said ahead of this week’s clash against Brighton, via LiverpoolFC.com.
Klopp described Lallana as an ‘incredible professional’ and discussed the ‘respect’ he has for the player, who joined Liverpool in 2014 under the reign of Brendan Rodgers.
“He is there and trains 100 per cent but as long as we don’t need, it he will just [be training]. I think there was a lot of discussions about players with ending contracts but his was not even a discussion: it was clear we would extend Adam’s contract and he wanted to do that as well,” Klopp added.
“But we will not put any risk on his future or whatever, that’s absolutely clear. He is one of the most important players since my time here so I wish him only the best for the future. From my point of view, he is already a legend here so he can now be a legend somewhere else from next season on.”
Lallana hasn’t featured for Liverpool since the season restarted. Assuming there is no injury crisis in midfield and he doesn’t play another game as expected, his last appearance for the club will remain his six-minute cameo appearance against Bournemouth in March.
Leicester are reported to be favourites to sign him as a free agent once the season finishes, which would mean a reunion with Rodgers at the King Power Stadium. Were he to play for Liverpool again this season and get injured it could risk derailing that move.