The Liverpool duo have been sidelined for months through injury and the Reds boss does not expect either to be fit for international duty this summer
Jurgen Klopp admits it is unlikely that either Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez will be fit for the European Championships this summer.
The Liverpool pair have been sidelined since October and November respectively with knee injuries, and Klopp does not expect to have either available before the end of the club season.
And though both players have been pictured stepping up their recovery at the Reds’ training base in Kirkby recently, Klopp has dismissed suggestions they could be available to play for their countries at the rescheduled championships, which get underway in June.
What’s been said?
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Klopp said: “It is not my decision but to be honest the information I have in the moment is that it will be unlikely.
“It’s not that I don’t let them go, because I don’t want to have to do that anyway. It is because of the extent of the injuries.
“We all hope they will be ready to start pre-season with us, that’s what we all hope. With Joel [Matip] it is pretty much the same. These are really serious injuries and it is now not about talking about which competition they play.
“I am always open for positive surprises, and that they all of a sudden turn up in team training, but no-one told me that. The two of them look better than Joel as he is still in what looks like ski boots.
“Joe is not running, Virgil is already running but this is a real tough one. We will be completely over the moon when they are ready to train with us for the start of pre-season but the Euros I didn’t think about it.
“When do you have to be back to be ready to play in the Euros? The week before? The day the Euros start? I don’t know. I understand maybe the need of that but we cannot make this decision and we will not. They will be fit when they are fit.”
How long have Van Dijk and Gomez been out?
Van Dijk has not played since suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a tackle from Everton’s Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby on October 17.
Gomez, meanwhile, ruptured a tendon in his knee during a training session with England on November 11, ahead of their friendly with the Republic of Ireland.
Where and when do the European Championships take place?
The tournament, which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is due to run from 11 June until 11 July.
It remains to be seen whether the original plan, which was for games to be played at 12 venues across the continent, is deemed to be viable.
There have been suggestions that England, where fans could be back in stadiums in May, is ready to host the entire tournament if needed, but the FA issued a statement recently which said that UEFA remained committed to the tournament being played as originally planned.
The host cities – Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg – have until 5 April to confirm how many, if any, fans will be allowed to attend games.