Van Dijk, Gomez, on bike, Austria (Image: Peter Hartenfelser via Images)

Liverpool to remain in Europe for pre-season, with visit to China or USA unlikely

Liverpool are expected to return to Europe for the second pre-season running, with it “highly unlikely” that they will partake in an exhibition competition in either China or the United States.

With the current season entering the home stretch, eyes will already be cast towards summer plans ahead of a new campaign that holds the promise of seeing fans return on mass.

For international players, the summer will be disrupted by Euro 2020, Copa America and even the Tokoyo Olympics – adding more fixtures onto already exhausted legs.

And for Liverpool, that could see more than 14 current players spend the majority of their summer with their country before being handed time off and then returning to the club.

It will leave Klopp with the barebones of his team, at least at the start, for a pre-season that is expected to see the Reds return to Europe, according to the Athletic.

They report that it is “highly unlikely” that they will partake in another edition of the International Champions’ Cup that is to take place in the USA or China.

Currently, the Reds are to “organise a training base in Europe” and set up their own fixtures with clubs as they did in the summer of 2020.

But with the pandemic still very much present around the world, multiple plans will likely be drafted up should restrictions arise in the face of rising cases with the rate of the vaccine rollout not uniform.

There will be hopes that they do not have a similar experience of having to switch at late notice as they did with Evian, France for Salzburg, Austria, however.

But the return to the continent could see Liverpool take up Lyon’s suggestion of a memorial friendly in honour of Gerard Houllier, a fitting time to honour his legacy.

And they mightn’t be too far away from Lyon should they reside at Evian, on the banks of Lake Geneva, for the third time, with Klopp known to prefer its remote location and facilities.

Reducing media and sponsorships obligations is expected to be high on the agenda as it was last summer as the Reds look to recharge their batteries and reset their trajectory in what will be another condensed break between seasons.

Three months is set to separate the end of the 2020/21 campaign with the start of the next, in August.

One could also expect a series of warmup friendlies in England as has become the norm under Klopp, with the likes of Blackpool, Blackburn and Tranmere posing as potential local opponents.