Sports

Relationship ‘on hold’ ahead of Man United clash

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said his relationship with Manchester United interim head coach Ralf Rangnick is “on hold” ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League’s clash between the two clubs.

Both managers faced each other during their time in the Bundesliga and Rangnick has influenced Klopp and other contemporary German coaches with his gegenpressing tactical style.

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Before Rangnick moved to Old Trafford, Klopp hailed United for hiring an “outstanding” coach but the Liverpool manager said he has been unable to contact him regularly since moving to England.

“My relationship with Ralf Rangnick is on hold,” Klopp told a news conference on Monday. “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.”

Liverpool can leapfrog Manchester City into first position in the Premier League table with a victory over United at Anfield.

Klopp’s side go into the match with momentum after after beating Benfica last week to secure a Champions League semifinal spot while also booking their place in the FA Cup final with a thrilling 3-2 win over City on Saturday.

Liverpool produced a stunning display and thrashed United 5-0 in the reverse fixture in October at Old Trafford but Klopp warned that United are still a dangerous side.

“The Man United we will face, they will go for it,” he added. “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.”

Mohamed Salah scored a hat trick in that memorable game at United but has failed to score for Liverpool from open play since February but Klopp is unfazed by the forward’s form.

“It’s a completely normal spell he is going through,” he said. “We’ve spoken about the physical demands. I liked the game against [Manchester] City a lot, it was a really good football game, only a question of time before he scores again. He’s been close enough a couple of times.

“We have had plenty of talks over the time we have worked together and at this specific moment there is no need to talk about the situation, just the normal stuff about what he has to do in the game and all these kind of things.”

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