Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the players who are only interested in Champions League football are free to leave the team.
Liverpool's hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top-four took a massive hit when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at home on Thursday. This was, in fact, their fifth consecutive home defeat; the first time they have lost these many games in succession in the club's history. The Reds sit 7th in the league standings with 43 points after 27 games and are four points away from the fourth-placed Chelsea.
Liverpool's form in the league took a hit since their 1-0 defeat against Brighton at home on February 4. Since then, Klopp's men have lost four of their last five games, losing to Manchester City, Leicester City, Everton, and Chelsea. Liverpool are in dire need of switching the gear as they risk losing out on the Champions League spot.
For Klopp, though, he remains confident that his players would indeed remain loyal to the club if they finish outside top-four. At the same time, however, he said that those here only to play the UEFA Champions League can leave whenever they want.
"[Loyalty from players] is not something we have to worry about," he told a news conference ahead of Sunday's home clash against Fulham.
"I know that we have the loyalty of the players, and it's not a situation where a player of this squad says next year we don't play Champions League, so we have to leave. That will not happen, I know them enough to know that and it will not be an issue with new players.
"We said it earlier, years back, if a player doesn't want to come to us because we don't play in the Champions League next year, I don't want him.
"If a player wants to leave us because we don't play Champions League, I don't want him. It's not a personal thing, but you always need to find the right squad for the challenges you face, and then you go for it. It's nothing that I worry about."
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Oli Scarff