Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has warned that the decision to move the African Cup of Nations back to January by the Confederation of African Football will have an impact on the club’s transfer policy.
The AFCON will take place next winter in the middle of the English Premier League season, even though the last one took place in the summer.
With Liverpool set to lose players like Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita for up to six weeks, Klopp warned that the move will make club think twice about buying African players in the future.
He said, “I couldn’t respect the African Cup of Nations more than I do because I like the competition.
“But it is an obvious problem that you play a tournament in the middle of the season. African Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.
“It doesn’t help African players. We will not sell Sadio, Mo or Naby just because they have a tournament in January and February – of course not – but if you have to make a decision about bringing in a player, it is a massive one because before the season you know for four weeks you don’t have them.
“That’s a normal process and as a club you have to think about these things. It doesn’t help the players, for sure.
“But these decisions are made without asking the players, without asking the managers, without asking anyone. It is just a decision.”