James Rodriguez has suggested he would be happy to return to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Colombia international's two-year loan with the Bundesliga champions ends in June and Bayern are yet to take up their option to sign him permanently.

James' future has been the subject of speculation during what has proved to be a more difficult second season in Germany under Niko Kovac.

The 27-year-old insists his focus is on Bayern's objectives this term, but concedes Madrid is still very much his home.

"In Madrid, I have everything such as my house and people who love me," he told Cadena Cope's El Partidazo and Cadena SER's El Larguero.

"We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich. I just want to finish the season and we'll see what happens.

"I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players."

James was speaking after playing in Bayern's 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp lamented Liverpool's final pass during a 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Premier League outfit lacked a clinical edge in the attacking third as they were held by Bayern at Anfield in the last-16 first leg.

Klopp rued his side's attacking display, saying their passing cost them chances, and exposed them defensively.

"Our problem was, on one hand the quality of the opponent of course, but on the other hand our last pass was not our friend," he told a news conference.

"We had 10 or 12 situations where everything was prepared, everything was on a plate, and then we played a very average last pass or gave it away.

"That caused us two problems – one, we didn't create a chance, and on the other hand we gave them the ball and they had a counter-attack, which made the game even more intense.

"But how it is in situations like that, I'm pretty sure at the moment Bayern feel a bit better than we do but we have three weeks, and day by day the result will feel a bit better for us and a bit worse for Bayern. It's 0-0, the best draw you can get.

"It will be a tough one again to play at Bayern. If we win 1-0 tonight, what would have changed really? Then a 0-0 is enough as well, or we draw 1-1 – but that's now enough as well. So it's not perfect but good enough to work with."

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both squandered opportunities for Liverpool, who were in action for the first time since February 9.

But Klopp, whose team visit Manchester United on Sunday, refused to use the break as an excuse.

"The 10-day break? What does the final pass have to do with that? You have to look at the game and think about the game, and not prepare a question because we had a 10-day break," he said.

"I have no clue why we didn't play the last pass. The sharpness has nothing to do with the last pass, it's about being in the moment, doing the right steps. You saw the situations, it had nothing to do with 10 days' [break].

"We cannot change it, we had the 10-day break and now we will not have any break anymore, now we play through – and if it was a problem then we will not have that problem anymore because now we play every three days."

Niko Kovac praised Bayern Munich's disciplined defensive performance against Liverpool but resolved to not revel in a tactical triumph with the job only half-finished in the Champions League.

Bundesliga champions Bayern left Anfield the happier of the teams on Tuesday after securing a 0-0 draw that puts them in a good position for the return leg of their last-16 tie, to be played at Allianz Arena on March 13.

Though they only occasionally threatened a patchwork Liverpool defence and failed to register a shot on goal, a Bayern side which has avoided defeat in five of six matches since the mid-season break will fancy their chances of overcoming the Premier League outfit.

Bayern head coach Kovac commended his players for subduing the home side while warning against viewing the result as a victory.

"It is half-full, half-empty," Kovac said. "I can't remember that many clubs have not lost and not conceded at Anfield and the way Liverpool played, they are a sensationally good team.

"My team in defence and as a whole kept everything tight at the back and played at a high level, tactically and mentally.

"We didn't score but we didn't let one in. We are at home now, we will play in front of 75,000. We know if we concede, we have to win.

"At this level, very small differences can decide everything so we will wait and see.

"I said before, we played a really good performance against a top opponent and they were in the final last year and that is a great performance. We don't have to hide.

"We have got the quality and we have showed that over recent years, but we haven't achieved anything. I am the last person to start celebrating. We are modest, focused and have to give 100 percent in the next game."

The two coaches were involved in a moment of confusion at full-time when the Bayern boss left Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp waiting on the touchline for the traditional post-match handshake.

Kovac explained the incident as nothing more than a harmless misunderstanding.

"That was funny," he said. "We were on English soil. In Germany it is normal when games end, you shake hands with your players.

"In England, first the coaches shake hands, [but] I did what I do in Germany, said sorry and made up for it, and in Germany we will do it as we do it in Germany."

Jurgen Klopp emerged "absolutely okay" with Liverpool's 0-0 draw against Bayern Munich despite admitting a measure of frustration with the subdued display.

Bayern successfully blunted the Premier League side's star-studded attack to register a valuable clean sheet at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were among the players to pass up opportunities in what was a 90 minutes largely free of incident, with Liverpool registering two shots on target and the visitors zero.

Last season's beaten finalists will now have to secure a result at Allianz Arena to advance to the quarter-finals, a scenario that does not faze Klopp.

"We can play better, we should play better," Klopp said of the performance in a post-match interview with BT Sport.

"It was like this. It was a big fight. I can't remember chances in the second half for both sides.

"The tie is not over. We had to create a basis which we can use in the second leg. From a result point of view it's absolutely okay. 

"It's not a dream result but it's a good one and we can work with that.

"A lot of things were really good. We played against an outstanding side and each mistake you make can cause a big problem. I'm not over the moon but I'm completely okay with the game."

Liverpool's major positive was escaping unscathed from a match which Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren missed through suspension and injury respectively.

The makeshift pairing of Joel Matip and Fabinho dealt comfortably with an anonymous Robert Lewandowski and Klopp commended their efforts, while reserving particular praise for hard-working captain Jordan Henderson.

"First off, a clean sheet without the big man [Van Dijk] which not a lot of people would have expected that, so that was very good," the German said.

"Defending in general was good. It was a fantastic game from Hendo.

"A lot of things were really good. We played against an outstanding side and each mistake you make can cause a big problem. I'm not over the moon but I'm completely okay with the game."

Robert Lewandowski drew a rare blank as he failed to exploit Virgil van Dijk being suspended, but Bayern Munich arguably have the edge over Liverpool after a goalless first leg at Anfield.

Van Dijk's absence was billed as a crucial factor in Tuesday's clash of the titans - a last-16 tie that felt deserving of semi-final status if not the showpiece itself - with two high-powered sides who wanted to play the game at full speed without ever pausing to catch breath.

Liverpool mostly held Bayern at bay despite being without the most expensive defender in world football. Lewandowski - the top scorer in this season's Champions League with eight goals - lurked as a malevolent presence close to Van Dijk's deputy Fabinho whenever Bayern had the ball, but they could not create a chance for him to take.

Indeed, the Bundesliga champions did not muster a single shot on target, although the hosts could only manage two themselves. Lewandowski touched the ball just twice in Liverpool's box during the first half and when he did get on the ball near Alisson's goal shortly after the restart, Fabinho snuffed out his threat.

Alisson promised pre-match Liverpool would not "feel that loss" with Van Dijk unable to play due to his ban, claiming Liverpool were drilled so well it would make little difference despite his price and profile, and he was proved right with Lewandowski stifled.

Van Dijk has not missed a single minute of Liverpool's brilliant Premier League season, but suggestions he has been the sole factor in the Reds' rise looked out of place following this fine team display. Fabinho and Joel Matip may be a makeshift pairing, but they were not outclassed. Mats Hummels was similarly outstanding at the back for Bayern.

The key individual battle of the game instead developed on Liverpool's left wing where Sadio Mane gave the excellent Joshua Kimmich a working over, the likes of which he does not usually get in domestic football.

Mane tricked Kimmich into receiving a first-half booking, which will rule the Germany international out of the second leg, but he could not find the target with a brace of overhead-kick attempts before the break. Liverpool may feel Mane could have targeted Kimmich more in the second period as his yellow seemed a rare soft spot in the Bayern side.

With both sides determined to close down the other at every possible opportunity, Manuel Neuer and Alisson had moments where they looked briefly uncomfortable.

The prospect of Roberto Firmino bearing down on goal, seemingly at a million miles an hour, was not welcomed by Bayern's captain. It was hard to believe Firmino had been a doubt due to an illness that forced him to miss training. His energy levels appeared to be as high as ever until he dramatically faded in the second half and had to be replaced by wildcard option Divock Origi.

Mistakes in possession were too common from both sides, the rapid tempo of the match meaning players were regularly harried and harassed into misplacing passes.

And that lack of clarity continued in front of goal where the prolific Mohamed Salah wasted the clearest openings of the game for Liverpool. They may just rue his misses in Munich.

Liverpool failed to stamp their authority on a battling Bayern Munich as a 0-0 first-leg draw at Anfield left their Champions League last-16 tie in the balance.

The Premier League side produced the more promising attacking moments against a circumspect opponent but are likely to need an away goal when the teams reconvene at Allianz Arena on March 13.

Jurgen Klopp, robbed of Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren through suspension and injury, will at least be pleased with the way his back four navigated the rare instances of danger posed to them by the German champions.

But the strange lack of cutting edge despite Roberto Firmino's presence at the point of attack resulted in a first-leg draw that means a quarter-final berth is still very much up for grabs.

Liverpool's makeshift central-defensive pairing of Fabinho and Joel Matip survived a nervy start, with the latter relieved his miscued clearance of Serge Gnabry's low cross came back off Alisson.

A muddled attempt at playing out then gifted an opportunity to Kingsley Coman, who fired into the side-netting.

The hosts soon established superiority and Sadio Mane went close with a shot on the turn, while Mohamed Salah and Matip threatened amid a succession of half-chances.

An unbalanced Salah's poor touch scuppered a promising Liverpool break early in the second half, before the lively Gnabry whistled an effort over the crossbar.

The late flurry that might have been expected of Klopp's men in a bid to establish a sought-after first-leg advantage ultimately never came, with Manuel Neuer's smart low save from Mane's deflected near-post header proving the most either goalkeeper had to do over a laboured final 30 minutes.

What does it mean? All to play for in Munich

Niko Kovac, a man under pressure for large periods of his maiden season in charge of Bayern, will certainly be the happier of the two managers.

His team are a long way off the feared force that triumphed over Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final, yet a scoreless first 90 minutes is a boost to their hopes of advancing.

There is work for Liverpool to do if they are to repeat the impressive run that took them all the way to last season's decider.

No goal but Gnabry gains credit

In a match light on attacking quality, Germany international Gnabry deserves commendation for giving value to his team at both ends of the pitch.

The ex-Arsenal man was proactive in seeking out shooting opportunities and certainly did not forget his defensive duties, registering a team-high four tackles - two of which were to curb Liverpool moves that had advanced into the penalty area.

Lewandowski offers little

It was expected that Robert Lewandowski would prey on the unfamiliarity of Liverpool's centre-back pairing but in truth he gave them scant work to do.

The competition's leading scorer this season was surprisingly anonymous. Zero shots on target summed up a 90 minutes spent largely isolated.

What's next?

Liverpool must refocus for another blockbuster affair on Sunday as their Premier League title credentials undergo a test against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Bayern, meanwhile, head back to Germany to host Hertha Berlin on Saturday, the match providing them with an opportunity to at least temporarily move level with leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Roberto Firmino has been passed fit but Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has not recovered from a hamstring injury in time to face Bayern Munich.

With Virgil van Dijk suspended and Joe Gomez ruled out, Jurgen Klopp had given Lovren as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

But the Croatia defender has not made it for Tuesday's last-16 first leg at Anfield, though the Reds are able to start Firmino in attack after he shook off an illness.

Fabinho is expected to line up alongside Joel Matip in the Reds' defence but captain Jordan Henderson is an alternative option at the back for Liverpool.

Bayern, without the suspended Thomas Muller and injured defender Jerome Boateng, received a boost with Kingsley Coman fit enough to start.

The France winger scored twice and set up the winner for David Alaba as Niko Kovac's side won 3-2 at Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Friday but could not complete the game after taking a heavy challenge on his troublesome left ankle late on.

Captain Manuel Neuer starts in goal for Bayern after making his return from a thumb injury that kept him out of three matches against Augsburg.

Jurgen Klopp feels pundits who were critical of Bayern Munich early in Niko Kovac's reign are now at risk of looking "silly" as the Bundesliga champions recover under their new coach.

Bayern won their first seven games under Kovac before stumbling into a run of four matches without a victory, but they travel to Anfield on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in fine form.

Friday's 3-2 win at Augsburg means Kovac's side have taken 27 points from the last 30 available in the Bundesliga, with their deficit behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund cut to three points.

And Klopp is more aware of Bayern's threat than most, with the German having battled for titles with the Bavarian giants when he coached Dortmund between 2008 and 2015.

"I cannot hide from the fact that Bayern Munich are a team I know more about than most of the opposition we face in international competition," Klopp wrote in Liverpool's matchday programme.

"They were of course a regular opponent both in domestic competitions and the Champions League when I worked in Germany, and with it still being my home country I pay more attention to what happens in the Bundesliga than others, outside of the Premier League itself.

"Because of this knowledge, aside from the usual analysis we do, I know how unbelievably powerful they are, as a team and as a club. Bayern know what it takes to win – it's what they do.

"This season people were far too quick, in my opinion, to draw conclusions on them early and some of those who fell into that trap now risk looking a little silly.

"They've had some transition to manage, but it is clear they are now in the right mood and we must be ready for a side full of confidence and attacking intent.

"When the Champions League starts each season Bayern Munich are a team people with knowledge predict will have a big say in the outcome of who wins it – this season it is no different. We face a side who will have ambitions to go all the way. But guess what – we are also a side that refuses to limit its ambitions."

Liverpool will be without defensive leader Virgil van Dijk due to suspension for Bayern's visit, while Joe Gomez is out and Dejan Lovren is battling to recover from a hamstring injury.

"It is entirely possible to respect that this is a blockbuster fixture without needing analysis of who has the better chance of progressing," Klopp continued. "We prepare for this game like every other one. We look at and respect our opponents' strengths and learn about them before playing.

"But when we pass on that information it is about how we can use it to maximise our own qualities, of which there are many. We make it about what we can do – we make it about us always.

"We were away most of last week in training camp and what I saw there was a squad of players only interested in ourselves and what we can do together. I saw players who are loving being involved in something that matters and has the potential to be significant.

"The team we focus on more than any other is always us and what we can do and achieve with hard work and focus."

The Champions League last 16 continues on Tuesday, with Liverpool hosting Bayern Munich and Barcelona travelling to Lyon.

Bayern have a fairly rotten record against the Reds, but they may stand a good chance of a positive first-leg result if Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane continue their recent trends in the competition.

Lyon shocked Manchester City in the group stage before a peculiar run of five consecutive draws, but they will hope to stop Lionel Messi from continuing a quite remarkable scoring rate.

Here is the pick of the stats surrounding these two first legs, as provided by Opta...

Liverpool v Bayern Munich

1 - Bayern Munich have won only one of their seven matches in European competition against Liverpool (D4 L2). That came in the Cup Winners' Cup second round back in November 1971, with two goals from Gerd Muller and one from Uli Hoeness in Munich.

0 - Bayern Munich have not scored a single goal against Liverpool at Anfield (3 games).

19 - Liverpool are unbeaten in 19 consecutive European matches at Anfield (W14 D5), last losing at home back in October 2014 against Real Madrid in the Champions League (0-3). It is their second-longest unbeaten streak at home in European competition after their 40-match run between September 1974 and December 1991.

6 - Sadio Mane failed to convert more big chances than any other player in this season's Champions League group stages (6 out of 7 obtained). However, last season he scored seven goals in as many knockout games in the competition.

5 - Top scorer in the Champions League this season with eight goals, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will attempt to find the net in a fifth consecutive game, a feat he has never accomplished so far in a same season in the competition.

Lyon v Barcelona

6 - Barcelona are unbeaten against Lyon, winning four of their six previous matches with the French club, all in the Champions League. The Catalans have also scored in all six of those games.

44 - Lyon have averaged 44 per cent possession in this season's Champions League, the lowest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition, whilst only Real Madrid have had more possession (65 per cent) than Barcelona (64 per cent).

4 - Lyon's Memphis Depay has assisted four goals in the Champions League this season, the joint-most alongside Kylian Mbappe and Riyad Mahrez. The last Lyon player to assist four or more goals in the competition was Juninho Pernambucano in 2008-09 (4).

90 - Since (and including) the 2009 Champions League final, Barcelona's Lionel Messi has scored 90 goals in 90 starts in the competition.

1,418 - Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has failed to score (or deliver an assist) in his last 1,418 minutes of play away from home in the Champions League - 23 hours and 38 minutes without finding the net or setting up a goal. The last time he scored on the road came in September 2015 against Roma at Stadio Olimpico.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Liverpool were interested in signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho when he was at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions would not sell to the Reds.

Sancho left City for the Bundesliga in August 2017 and has been a revelation in Germany, scoring seven goals and setting up another nine in 22 league matches this season.

The 18-year-old earned his first senior England caps towards the end of last year and already looks as though he is set to become a mainstay, such is the talent he has shown early in his career.

Sancho arguably would not be in such a position had he stayed at City, however, as he decided to leave in search of greater exposure to first-team football.

Had things gone differently, he could have even ended up at Anfield.

"Buying English players is a smart idea because we would never have a chance to get Sancho," Klopp told reporters on Monday ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

"We are not blind. We saw him [Sancho], we liked him and then we think, 'Can we get him?'

"No, because English clubs don't sell to other English clubs. I don't know exactly what the reason is for that, but they don't do it."

Eager to not miss out on another English talent after seeing Sancho go to Dortmund, Bayern have made no secret of their desire to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea.

Some have suggested Bundesliga clubs' interest in young English players is a consequence of a perceived lack of talented German youth players, though Klopp is unconvinced.

"There is no dip," he said. "Six or seven years ago you had all these boys coming up – Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels – and it was clear when they became Under-21 European champions it would be a generation of proper quality.

"England now has that situation. It is like a wave with one country a little bit up and another country down. Now they can go to Germany, which is a wonderful league.

"I saw the Dortmund game against Tottenham and it was a completely open game in the first half. I don't see German football in a bad situation.

"It is a normal situation as well, a bit like Bayern. They have been unbelievably successful and now the next generation has to come up.

"That will happen again. The Bundesliga is a fantastic league and everything will be fine for them, but at the moment I am in the Premier League and more interested in what we have to do here."

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is excited about the prospect of seeing his side play against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, but insists they are not daunted by the famous atmosphere. 

The Reds host Bayern on Merseyside in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, as the two sides get their knockout campaigns started. 

Liverpool reached the final last season, with their form at home proving vital as they avoided defeat in every match in front of their own supporters. 

That run has continued into this season, Liverpool winning all three of their home group games, while their only Anfield defeat in any competition in 2018-19 was a 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the EFL Cup in September. 

Salihamidzic is aware of the revered atmosphere at the stadium and while eager to experience it, he is convinced Bayern know how to handle such environments. 

"We know what atmosphere to expect, what a beautiful stadium [Anfield] it is and how hard it is to play there, that's why we have to play with passion, but with a cool head," he told reporters.

"I think we have a really good mix between experienced players who can calm down a game and the boys who are on fire, that can really bring speed in a game.

"Of course, you have to keep a cool head, but also keep in mind that this will be a tense game.

"We have the experience, we have players who have played a lot of games at this level. Therefore, I assume that we are 100 per cent ready for it.

"Sadly, I never got to play there [Anfield] as a player, but I'm excited anyway to see the atmosphere.

"It will be intense, but it is like that also in the other stadiums, in Spain, in the other English stadiums or in the Bundesliga.

"It will be a duel of the highest level, I think, and I'm excited about that. To see Anfield is very special."

Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool have enough quality to complete a Premier League and Champions League double this season.

The Reds are involved in a pulsating domestic battle with Manchester City and Tottenham for the title, but next host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Europe.

Speaking to the media ahead of Tuesday's game, Henderson described the clash with Niko Kovac's side as "the biggest of the season" and has revealed that a similar mindset will be adopted to every game from now on.

"If we had to choose, we'd choose both," he replied when asked which competition he would rather win.

"We prioritise game by game, no matter what competition it is, so Tuesday night for us is the biggest game of the season. And then so on and so on.

"It'll be like that until the end of the season, that's how we approach every game.

"That's what we need to do, it's not about favouring one competition.

"I feel we have a good enough squad to be able to challenge in both competitions as best we can, and hopefully at the end of the season we see we're champions of at least one, if not both."

Liverpool have been tipped by many as the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, with Bayern struggling for consistency under Kovac this season.

They sit two points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, having played a game more than their rivals, after twice rallying from a goal down to beat Augsburg 3-2 on Friday.

Henderson, though, thinks Bayern's world-class players will be far from a pushover at Anfield.

 "It'll be very tough," the England midfielder added.

"They're only two points off Dortmund in the domestic league and have been consistent finalists and semi-finalists [in the Champions League].

"They've got world-class players so we know how difficult it will be but having said that we feel confident in the group that we can go and hurt them.

"It's up to us to show that tomorrow night.

"The amount of big games we played last year can only help us."

Jurgen Klopp believes Bayern Munich could be "more dangerous than before" against Liverpool due to their inconsistent form in 2018-19.

The Reds host Niko Kovac's side on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool have been tipped by many as the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, with Bayern's dominance of German football appearing to be weakening during something of a transitional season.

They sit two points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, having played a game more, and twice fought back from a goal down to beat Augsburg 3-2 on Friday.

Klopp, though, thinks Bayern's improved results since a run of no wins in four games in September shows they will be a real threat at Anfield.

"After six years as the dominator of the league, it was clear this would be a more difficult year," he said. "They are two points behind Dortmund, they play Dortmund at home, they're in the cup [DFB-Pokal], in the Champions League last 16... It's a completely normal situation.

"With a huge quality team, you need to have the desire of a newcomer combined with the quality of a real contender. Maybe in the beginning of the season they didn't have that but the situation from my point of view makes them even more dangerous than before.

"We cannot have the same target as Bayern because they are six times in a row the champions, they want to make history with a seventh. Our history would be completely different. Maybe we achieved a little bit more than people expected so far but both are in a similar situation.

"It's a long way to go but we don't have to think about the league, just the Champions League. If I wasn't involved, I would buy a ticket."

Tuesday's game sees Klopp come up against Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, who were key figures in his Dortmund side that won back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012.

"I worked together with these boys. Two fantastic players. I have to be really thankful - without them probably my career would not be the same," he said.

"We all benefited from each other. That's part of my life and part of my history. We'll always have a lot of respect for each other. 

"I know a lot about them. I really like them. We will try everything to, what can I say? To let them not shine."

Liverpool finished second to Paris Saint-Germain in their group, meaning they must play the home leg of the tie first, but Klopp does not consider that to be a disadvantage.

"When two good teams face each other, it is not decided in one game," he said. "We have two legs to play and we will be 100 per cent focused on both of them. It's difficult but it's possible and that's all I need."

Jurgen Klopp says he will have to wait "minute by minute" before making a decision on whether Dejan Lovren can face Bayern Munich in Tuesday's Champions League tie.

Croatia centre-back Lovren has not played since injuring his hamstring in the FA Cup third-round defeat to Wolves on January 7.

With Joe Gomez injured and Virgil van Dijk suspended for the last-16 first-leg tie at Anfield, having Lovren available would be a major boost for the Reds.

But Klopp told Liverpool's official website it is too soon to make a decision.

"I don't know 100 per cent. It's Monday and we play on Tuesday so most of that should be clear," he said.

"Dejan, I actually have to wait minute by minute if there is a chance or not."

Klopp sounded more hopeful on the availability of former Bayern winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who has been contending with an abdominal problem, and Georginio Wijnaldum following his recovery from illness, with the pair having taken part in training.

"Gini trained and looked really well. Shaq did a lot, so it will be close, we have to see," he added.

Xherdan Shaqiri has proved his doubters wrong with his performances for Liverpool this season, former Switzerland team-mate Tranquillo Barnetta believes.

The forward joined Jurgen Klopp's side for a reported £13.5million following Stoke City's relegation from the Premier League last season and has shown himself an able back-up in attack.

The 27-year-old has scored six times in 20 appearances in the top flight, including a match-winning double against Manchester United in December in a 3-1 win that ultimately cost Jose Mourinho his job as manager.

Shaqiri is likely to be on the bench on Tuesday when Liverpool host his former club Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Nonetheless, Barnetta - who was an international team-mate of Shaqiri's until his retirement in 2014 - thinks he has already shown Jurgen Klopp was right to sign him.

"When I played with him, he was a young player and he's made a lot of steps forward," Barnetta told Omnisport. "He had some tough times when he was not playing that much in Munich and for Inter.

"That's why I'm very happy for him that he went to Liverpool and, when he got his chances, he took them.

"Maybe a lot of people from the outside said, 'What is he doing at Liverpool after Stoke?' but he didn't react to these guys and made some amazing games. Now, I think everyone is quiet on the outside."

Barnetta thinks working under Klopp has proved important to Shaqiri's development, particularly the patience he showed in introducing the player into the first team.

"He [Klopp] is a really good motivator and he really lives football and that's why I think he can take the last per cent out of a player," said the former Bayer Leverkusen winger, now at St Gallen in Switzerland.

"I think that was something Xherdan needed because, like I said, his talent was always there but maybe sometimes he couldn't bring it on the pitch. In the last few months he showed really what he is able to do.

"It's always so important that you have a coach who helps you, who gives you a lot of confidence. It was also important that he didn't bring him in from the beginning. He came from the bench and had a couple of minutes.

"That is why a lot of people were asking, 'What is he doing there?' but it was very well done from the coach to give him the chance to improve and to see how it works, because Anfield is special – it's not like every other team or set of fans.

"That's why I think Jurgen Klopp has a lot of profit from this success from Xherdan."

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