Liverpool still not clear when Salah, Mane & Keita will leave AFCON – Liverpool FC

Liverpool is still in the dark if Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita will be available for clash with Chelsea on 2 January due to the Cup of African Nations.

The Reds visit Stamford Bridge for the first game of the new year, which is expected to be the first to be held as part of a four-way safety stand test Premier League clubs.

It is set to be one of the most important fixtures of the season, with Chelsea currently top and Liverpool second, with Saturday’s 4-0 win of Southampton brought them to a point where the leaders played a game more.

There are plenty of games to play between now and then, but talks are still ongoing over the availability of three of Klopp’s players.

As it stands, the African Nations Cup will be held in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, with an earlier report suggesting those involved would have to go on December 27.

That would exclude Salah, Mane and Keita from meetings with Leicester (December 28) and Chelsea (January 2), that will be a blow to the form of two Liverpool strikers in particular.

But asked about the situation in his post-Southampton During the press conference, Klopp revealed that no decisions have been made so far.

“Not really, it’s too early for that. We’re still talking,” he replied about whether there was any clarity.

“[We are hoping they can play] correct!”

There’s reason to be hopeful when they join against Chelsea, with the game falling seven days before the trio is scheduled to compete in AFCON.

Furthermore, the matter is further complicated by genuine concerns about the infrastructure in Cameroon, as well as the ongoing problems faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, the UK government announced new measures to deal with the new variant of Omicron, with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia all added to the travel red list.

There are still travel bans in place in Africa, which makes the prospect of the tournament going as planned all the more difficult. Liverpool still not clear when Salah, Mane & Keita will leave AFCON – Liverpool FC

Jake Nichol

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