England manager Gareth Southgate does not understand why Jurgen Klopp has been “having a swing” at him in recent months.
The Liverpool boss expressed his surprise at the decision to overlook defender Joe Gomez in October, saying it “makes no sense” to select John Stones over him given his lack of club game time.
Klopp also took aim at Southgate the previous month after Trent Alexander-Arnold was deployed in midfield against Andorra, leading the German to ask why he would play the world’s best right-back out of position.
Asked if he was aware if he had done anything to upset the Liverpool boss, Southgate said with a laugh: “Well, no, not really.
“Yeah, I agree, I don’t quite know why he keeps having a swing but, yeah, you’d have to ask him.
“I think we’ve always got on reasonably well but I have noticed quite a few articles and quite a few comments, which is always interesting to see.”
Southgate said he had “no problem with Jurgen at all” ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Andorra, when Alexander-Arnold was selected among three right-backs in the squad.
When asked if it was important to have good relationships with top Premier League managers, Southgate said: “Well, they come and go pretty quickly, to be honest, so it’s important to have good relationships somewhere in the clubs.
“But maybe the managers aren’t the priority because it’s very transient – I don’t think that will be the case with the Liverpool manager, by the way.”
There have already been four top-flight managerial changes this season, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s exit from Tottenham preceding the departure of Daniel Farke from Norwich on Saturday night.
Portuguese coach Nuno endured a difficult four-month period at Spurs, whose star turn Harry Kane has struggled to get going having looked to leave over the summer.
Southgate brushed aside the suggestion the England captain’s position is under threat, calling him “the outstanding centre forward of his generation”, but hopes Antonio Conte’s arrival acts as a spark.