Liverpool to hold talks over delaying Africa Cup of Nations departures


Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Liverpool are currently set to lose Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for up to eight matches (Getty)

Liverpool are hoping to come to an agreement which would delay Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s departure for this winter’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Under current rules outlined by FIFA, all qualifying countries can ask for their players to be released by clubs on December 27, with the tournament running until February 6.

That means that Salah, Mane and Naby Keita could miss up to eight games for the Reds, including crucial Premier League games against Chelsea and Leicester.

However, Jurgen Klopp is planning to hold talks with the national teams during next month’s international break in a bid to persuade them to allow the players to leave in January, according to the Mirror.

The hope is to have the trio available for the trip to Stamford Bridge on January 2, before they head off to Cameroon ahead of the start of the competition. 

Mane’s Senegal and Keita’s Guinea both kick off their campaigns on January 10, while Salah’s Egypt side don’t play until January 11.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp is hoping to speak to the countries during the next international break (Picture: Getty)

Speaking about the timing of the tournament earlier this year, Klopp said: ‘I like the competition… [but] the African Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.’


‘On top of that we have absolutely no power so if we did say, ‘We don’t let him go’, the player is suspended.

‘How is that possible that the company who pays the player cannot decide that the player has to stay or not?’

In the meantime, Liverpool will be hoping to kick on from their back-to-back wins over Watford and Atletico Madrid, with another three points against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday. 

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