'These players love to be here' - Klopp urges fans to stay calm amid Virgil Van Dijk contract uncertainity
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged fans to stay calm amid speculation some of the club's star players will not renew their contracts following his resignation. 

Captain Virgil Van Dijk, whose contract expires in 2025, admitted he is unsure whether he will be part of the post-Klopp era, saying he is 'very curious' about how the club will replace their iconic manager.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah also have 18 months remaining on their current deals.

Asked if there was any danger the team would break up before they reached their full potential, Klopp said: "No, I don't think so. It's completely normal. It's clear the outside world will not give you a second to process it, to think about it.

"A week ago no one knew about my decision. It was still 18 months on their contracts and no one asked. So give us a break. That's completely normal, no one has to worry. 

"Write what you want, the club is stable. Everything will be fine, I'm 100% sure. I would recommend to stay calm in this department.

Van Dijk, who will turn 33 in July, has 18 months remaining on his current deal(Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

"Very often the fans' concerns are not as big as the media might think. You underestimate the IQ of our supporters. It's completely normal, there's nothing to worry about in this moment in time. All these talks could be part of a possible destruction of this season."

He added: "The club knew about my departure for a while. Why tie the players down and then say I'm not here anymore? You can't work like this, especially not with the relationship we have.  

"These players love to be here, don't forget that. They want to know a little bit more, but that will happen. Things need time. It's all fine. People at home, don't worry. It's fine. The boys love this place. I know that for a fact. What will happen, we will see."

  • 'These boys, everything so far is outstanding'

James McConnell, 19, made his first start for the club against Norwich on Sunday having caught the eye of Klopp and his coaching staff.

The cerebral midfielder, who had previously come off the bench against Toulouse, Union Saint-Gilloise and Brentford, completed 89% of his passes and assisted Curtis Jones for the opener.

Conor Bradley, deputising for Alexander-Arnold, claimed two assists and was duly awarded Player of the Match.

Thiago Alcantara, who underwent hip surgery in May and has not featured this season, returned to training on Monday, while Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai made their respective comebacks on the weekend.

Alexis Mac Allister is also set to be in contention to face Chelsea on Wednesday.

But Klopp insisted returning absentees won't halt the development of his youngsters.

He said: "A 19-year-old boy doesn’t need week in and week out Premier League games to develop. So, he developed to the level he is now without playing Premier League before so it’s just about that, we don’t have to bring a rush in now.

"It’s just a wonderful sign, wonderful for James [McConnell] as an example, wonderful for his family. I think he told me at first he had nine tickets for the game then afterwards he said 20 people – I don’t know how he brought them in. So, it’s just wonderful. That he’s ready to do it, I knew it before.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
 (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

"He could have come on in the games before but then it was slightly different positions so Bobby [Clark] came on, 18 years old. So, for these boys, everything that happened this season so far is absolutely outstanding and top, top, top and gives them exactly the right information that they have to improve still and have obviously the most time to do so, it’s absolutely fine.

"But that the so-called ‘bigger guns’ are coming back doesn’t have any influence on their development. If they only could develop if they play 20 Premier League games in a row, they would not be the talent they are, so it’s all fine."

Left-back Owen Beck has today re-joined Dundee on loan for the rest of the season.

The Wales international, 21, was recalled by the Reds earlier this month to provide cover in the absence of Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas.

But with Robertson recovering earlier than expected and the Greek closing in on a return, Beck has re-joined the Scottish club.

On Beck, Klopp said: "I’m so happy. Owen, like Calvin, had previously a difficult loan spell. He didn’t play in Portugal, came back here and was at Bolton as well [as Bradley] and didn’t play there either, so we were all like, ‘How can that happen?’ because we really think highly of him.

"So, he goes to Scotland, is playing there and it gave him a massive boost. He arrived here and looked like a man, really, left-back, really ready to go. And now, the other boys are coming back we have the opportunity to give him that time [on loan] again, it makes sense."

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