LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 8, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp waves to the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp gets Liverpool fans talking with squad omission of for-sale duo

Jurgen Klopp omitted both Nat Phillips and Xherdan Shaqiri from his Liverpool lineup for Monday night’s friendly clash with Osasuna, prompting fans to speculate…

The Reds conclude pre-season with a 90-minute clash with LaLiga club Osasuna, after a 1-1 draw with another Spanish side, Athletic Club, less than 24 hours previous.

Klopp fielded the majority of his first-choice starters in the Sunday outing, but the likes of Fabinho and Roberto Firmino took to the field the next day, along with new signing Ibrahima Konate.

One of the biggest talking points ahead of kickoff, however, was the absence of Phillips and Shaqiri, who have both been linked with moves away from Liverpool this summer.

Shaqiri is the subject of an offer from Lyon, according to L’Equipe, while Phillips is attracting interest from Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton and Leeds with his price tag set at £15 million.

The speculation was, then, that the pair had been left out ahead of transfers, with fans taking to social media to discuss the news.

The big selection call when it came to the starters saw 16-year-old Kaide Gordon given a surprise start on the right wing.

This was, as many supporters pointed out, at the expense of Divock Origi, who is also considered up for sale this summer despite a lack of concrete interest in the striker.

Liverpool claim that Phillips and Shaqiri were left out as a precautionary measure, but it would come as no surprise if the pair were done so in order to avoid any fitness issues ahead of lucrative moves away.

However, the inclusion of Ben Davies on the substitutes’ bench, having left the training camp in Austria amid interest from Sheffield United, highlights how things can change quickly.