Jurgen Klopp has said clubs will be reluctant to sign unvaccinated players as the Covid crisis continues to affect top-class sport nearly two years into the pandemic.

Klopp, who has been vocal in encouraging people to get jabbed, says while it’s impossible to force anyone the reality is players could miss out in the transfer market if they are deemed by suitors as health risks.

‘I think it (being vaccinated) will be influential, definitely, in who clubs sign,’ said the Liverpool manager.

Jurgen Klopp has said clubs will be reluctant to sign unvaccinated players as Covid crisis continues

Jurgen Klopp has said clubs will be reluctant to sign unvaccinated players as Covid crisis continues

Jurgen Klopp has said clubs will be reluctant to sign unvaccinated players as Covid crisis continues

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk (R) and Fabinho (L) missed Liverpool’s last game after suspected positives

‘If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us.

‘He doesn’t want to be a threat, it’s not that he thinks ‘I don’t care about the others’ but he is.’

Liverpool are due to face Tottenham on Sunday in one of five Premier League fixtures this weekend to survive the current Omicron outbreak.

Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones missed their last game against Newcastle on Thursday after registering suspected positive tests for Covid.

Curtis Jones also missed out on the victory against Newcastle and was in self-isolation

Curtis Jones also missed out on the victory against Newcastle and was in self-isolation

Curtis Jones also missed out on the victory against Newcastle and was in self-isolation

With regulations tightening and fans now having to show either proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test to enter stadiums, Klopp thinks any unvaccinated player will become a burden on the club – making them less attractive.

‘From an organisational point of view, it gets really messy,’ he said.

‘We’d have to find different scenarios. He has to change in a different dressing room, he has to eat in a different dining room, he has to sit in a different bus, he has to drive in a different car. If you really want to follow the protocols, it is incredibly difficult to do.

‘If we have to travel to a country to play international football and we come back, he has to get self-isolated, all these kind of things. Of course, it is going to be influential [in signing].

‘We have to do all these kind of things, like building extra buildings for unvaccinated players and it will not happen. Hopefully it will not be necessary in the future.’

Worryingly the EFL reported that a quarter of their players don’t plan to get vaccinated leaving Klopp concerned about this season’s FA Cup particularly with matches played at smaller lower league grounds.

Liverpool are at home to League One Shrewsbury in the third round next month and despite their manager Steve Cotterill spending time in intensive care with Covid, not all of their players are jabbed.

The EFL revealed this week 31 percent of players at its 72 clubs are unvaccinated

The EFL revealed this week 31 percent of players at its 72 clubs are unvaccinated

The EFL revealed this week 31 percent of players at its 72 clubs are unvaccinated

‘We go to FA Cup away games, change in really small dressing rooms. That was the situation last year, it’s just not 100% thought through,’ said 54-year-old Klopp whose mother died of Covid earlier this year.

‘This time we play at home so that’s fine but we have to constantly to think about other things besides football. We play an EFL team at home but others play away and I am not sure how that is sorted because it’s still out here.

‘We have to sort the general problem and that’s why I mentioned it’s not only [about] stopping the league or continuing like usual, there are things in between that we have to sort.’

Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill has spent time in intensive care because of COVID

Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill has spent time in intensive care because of COVID

Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill has spent time in intensive care because of COVID

HOW OMICRON COVID OUTBREAKS HAVE THE PREMIER LEAGUE ON EDGE

Arsenal

Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal had been forced to close their London Colney training ground after reporting a ‘few cases’ among players and staff following their 2-0 victory over West Ham United. Defender Pablo Mari and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga were among those to test positive and therefore missed the win at Leeds. 

Aston Villa 

Forced to postpone Premier League clash with Burnley on December 18 just two hours before kick-off after an increased amount of positive Covid-19 test results within their playing squad. 

Brentford

The Bees have 13 cases among players and staff – the club are now calling for a circuit-breaker szhutdown to help clubs recover. Their training ground has been closed and as a result their trip to Southampton on Saturday has been postponed. 

Leicester

Would have been without several players for Tottenham’s visit on Thursday due to Covid before the game was postponed – despite initial calls being rejected – hours before kick-off.  Their training ground was closed on Thursday morning to contain the outbreak but given they have an insufficient number of players available, their weekend trip to Everton is also off.

Manchester United

Case numbers are currently unknown but a large outbreak saw their game with Brentford postponed. Calls to have Saturday’s game with Brighton to be postponed were accepted on Thursday, and it has emerged that United would have had only seven available players for that game such is the impact of the outbreak. Their training complex is closed until Tuesday at least, in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Brighton

Had a request for Wednesday’s game with Wolves to be postponed rejected by the Premier League following an outbreak at the club. Graham Potter confirmed there were ‘three to four’ positive cases before the game, which they lost 1-0. Saturday’s game with Manchester United has now been postponed.

Norwich

Manager Dean Smith was facing an anxious wait to discover the full extent of the outbreak at the club. Josh Sargent, Lukas Rupp and Pierre Lees-Melou were absent from the squad that faced Aston Villa in midweek for ‘Covid-related’ reasons, but while Christos Tzolis is the only confirmed player to test positive, more positive test results have been returned. The Canaries had discussions with the Premier League over Saturday’s clash with West Ham and it was agreed to postpone as they have an insufficient number of players available. 

Watford

Saw their midweek game with Burnley postponed just hours before kick-off. With their training ground closed, their home match with Crystal Palace has now been confirmed as postponed too. Case numbers are currently unknown but they do not sufficient players to fulfil the Palace match.

Tottenham

Spurs were the first Premier League club to be hit by the Omicron variant last week and saw games against Brighton and Rennes postponed after cases reached double digits among players and staff. Those who tested positive for the virus are expected to return in the next couple of days after completing their 10-day self-isolation period. Spurs’ clash with Leicester on Thursday was postponed despite initial demands to have the game called off were rejected, but Sunday’s clash with Liverpool is due to go ahead.

Chelsea

After Brentford, the Blues became the latest club to be hit by a Covid outbreak, after it was confirmed ahead of their game with Everton that four more first-team players had tested positive. Mateo Kovacic was the first Chelsea player to get the virus in the outbreak this week, with Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell following. Neverthless, their game with Everton went ahead and was drawn. They are due to play Wolves on Sunday.

Liverpool

It was confirmed just an hour before kick-off against Newcastle on Thursday night that Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk were all out having tested positive for Covid. They won the game 3-1 and are due to play Tottenham on Sunday. 

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Source: DailyMail Sports

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