Liverpool’s squad have been on a staggered return to pre-season this summer—now the date of arrival for the next three key players has been confirmed.
On the same weekend they clinched the trophy, Egypt and star forward Mohamed Salah were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations, also on home soil.
With all three players receiving the standard three-week break after international exertions, they have naturally missed the early weeks of pre-season that the rest of the squad have returned for at varying times.
A full three weeks would take them up until July 28 off on holiday—and with the Reds set to visit Evian for their usual training camp on the 29th, Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the trio would be back for the training trip in France.
“Mo and the Brazilians will come for Evian.
“It means then we have nearly a week until City [in the Community Shield], a strong 12 days until Norwich and then 15 or 16 days until Chelsea [in the Super Cup].
“We have to see. The good thing is, when you have a short break you don’t lose a lot.
“They needed three weeks and so we told them [to take it], but they train now again already.
“I would have preferred it if they had come back after a week, but that would make absolutely no sense! So, [they have] these three weeks and then we will have them here for pre-season.”
Once the trio are back, there remains a single player whose return is not yet known: AFCON finalist Sadio Mane.
He and his Senegal side face Algeria on Friday, after which time the club will be in touch to see about his fitness.
“With Sadio, we have to see about him after the final – how he is feeling and stuff like that,” Klopp added.
“It will be really difficult. 16 days before we play City, his season is finished. We will have to make a decision, but we haven’t made it yet.”
It seems probable that the No. 10 will not be involved for the first game of the season against Norwich at least, given it takes place precisely three weeks after the AFCON final.
If Mane is allocated the full three-week break, it seems improbable that, even if he takes part in a condensed mini pre-season, he will be in the team until at least the second or third Premier League game of the new campaign.