Jurgen Klopp says his relationship with Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick is “on hold” ahead of Liverpool’s clash against the Red Devils.
Rangnick has been cited as an influence on a generation of German coaches with Klopp becoming friends with the interim Man Utd boss in his days managing Mainz.
But Klopp says their friendship has been paused while Rangnick is managing the Red Devils, who they face in a crucial match on Tuesday.
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Klopp told reporters at a pre-match press conference on Monday: “The Man United we will face, they will go for it. They want to go to the Champions League. It will be an intense 90 minutes. This time it’s an incredibly important game again for both teams.
“That says it all. Both teams are fighting. My relationship with [Man Utd interim boss] Ralf Rangnick is on hold!”
Klopp also revealed how he has not spoken to the interim Man Utd boss since he became boss at Old Trafford. The German added: “I haven’t spoken to him since he has been in England out of respect, but you can see the changes he has made there and the parts he has improved.
“When I prepare for the United game, I don’t think about Ralf, it’s about preparing for the team.”
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On the size of the game against Man Utd, the Liverpool boss continued: “It’s a big game, a massive game, two of the biggest clubs in the world. Always we have to learn to deal with it. Some players had to learn how to deal with it. This time it’s an incredible important game again for both teams.”
Sadio Mane has been brilliant in recent weeks but Klopp has played down the impact of Luis Diaz on the Senegal forward’s form.
On Mane, Klopp said: “I’ve known Sadio nearly six years, as far as I have known him he’s never needed competition to be the best version of himself. I’m not sure bringing in Luis affected that part of his game. But playing centre suits Sadio very well as well.
“Sadio had some physical struggles since he came back [from AFCON]. He couldn’t use his immense physicality every few days. Before game against Man City, I thought it looks like Sadio physically and that’s why he was able to play the game he played.”
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