Freddie Ljungberg's spell as Arsenal interim head coach starts away at Norwich City on Sunday.

If the Swede gets his wish, it will be the humble beginning of a long-term tenure.

The Gunners are reportedly receptive to the idea of keeping him in the dugout, at least until the end of the season.



Could rookie coach Freddie Ljungberg go from hugging the touchline at Highbury to patrolling it permanently at Emirates Stadium?

According to The Guardian, the 42-year-old is determined to prove he should succeed Unai Emery at Arsenal on a full-time basis.

Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino are among the many men linked with the role, although club chiefs are reportedly prepared to let Ljungberg stay on for the remainder of the season.



- Staying in the Premier League and Wolves will fight "tooth and nail" to keep Arsenal coaching contender Nuno Espirito Santo, says the Daily Mail.

- Inter have been linked with a South American double swoop. Antonio Conte wants more depth and the Serie A side are keen on Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez and promising River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta, reports La Repubblica.

- Edinson Cavani knows a contract extension will not be forthcoming but the striker wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season, according to Le Parisien.

- West Ham CEO Karen Brady expressed her support of under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini in The Sun, although the Daily Mail reports he has just two games to save his job.

- Anything less than victory against Hertha Berlin on Saturday will likely spell the end for Lucien Favre at Borussia Dortmund, says Sky Sport Germany.

Frank Lampard's decision to leave Chelsea as a player has helped him as a manager, according to West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Lampard has overseen a decent start to the season for Chelsea, who are fourth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday's clash against West Ham.

Pellegrini was in charge of Manchester City for Lampard's only campaign at the club in 2014-15 after the former England international decided to end a 13-season stay at Stamford Bridge.

The Chilean, whose team are just three points clear of the relegation zone, said that decision was a good one for Lampard.

"When you want to be a manager you must want to learn as much as you can," Pellegrini told reporters.

"During your career as a player, you see different people who manage the club in different ways and play different football. You can win titles in a number of different ways, and you choose one of those.

"For Frank Lampard, it was a very good experience for his career not to have been always at Chelsea. I know he started with West Ham, but for the most part of his professional career he was at Chelsea.

"To go to Manchester City, to see another way of playing football, that helped him to improve as a manager and I'm very happy for him.

"Every player tries to learn from the way you work. Of course, [as a player] you are always talking with different players, but I think you learn more from seeing."

Lampard said he had taken plenty from managers, including Pellegrini, later in his career.

"As I got older as a player I was probably more attentive of a manager's nature and things they said, how they held meetings and things like that," he said, via The Telegraph.

"It was always something you put into the bank and think, well, that could be how I want to do it or not."

The Premier League must launch a fresh search for a new chief executive after David Pemsel resigned from the post before even starting work.

The appointment of Pemsel was announced in October, and he was due to take charge in February, but newspaper claims about his private life this week led to a decision not to take up the position.

Richard Scudamore stood down from his role at the helm of the Premier League after almost 20 years during last season, and it was initially announced that Discovery executive Susanna Dinnage would succeed him.

She changed her mind about taking up the job, however, and elected to stay with her employer at the time. Dinnage is due to leave the Discovery group at the end of this year, Deadline reported last month.

With Pemsel now out of the frame, Richard Masters will continue as interim chief executive, the Premier League said. Pemsel had been persuaded to leave his role as chief executive of Guardian Media Group to move into football.

Announcing Pemsel's decision, the Premier League stated: "Following media disclosures earlier this week and discussions with David Pemsel, the Premier League has today accepted David's resignation and he will no longer be joining as chief executive."

Jose Mourinho believes it is impossible for managers to match the 20-year dynasties that Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger achieved, with Premier League bosses now forced to "fight for our job every day".

Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Mourinho was appointed Tottenham head coach last week after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked just six months on from guiding Spurs to the Champions League final.

Another high-profile departure followed on Friday as Unai Emery, Wenger's replacement, lost his job at Arsenal after 18 months at the helm.

Manchester United have similarly struggled to fill the void left by Ferguson, who reigned for fully 27 years at Old Trafford, with Mourinho acknowledging job security rarely lasts longer than a day now at top clubs.

"Twenty years in a club? I don't think it's possible," he told reporters.

"Modern life, new technologies, social media - I think everything has an influence, even people's mentality, faster relations, getting tired easily, so many things that are changing.

"Not [just] football but [these things] are changing the world and the perception of things that I think Wenger was the last 'man/one'. It's a bad thing for us.

"We have to adapt and we have to try to prove that we are the man for the job. We have to fight for our job every day.

"I think the times where people know the job is going to be mine for X amount of years [are gone]. You have to fight for your job every day. Not just with the football results but with everything you do in the club.

"I think it's normal. It happens in society in so many areas. I can imagine even yourself in your newspaper and your radio you have to not just sleep on what you did previously.

"I think you have to show every day you have that you are the guy for the job. I think it's just life."

But Mourinho said he does not go into new jobs worrying about how long his tenure will last.

"I don't think about that," he said. "I think about trying to show I am the man for the job every day."

Rodri is confident he could become an accomplished centre-back for Manchester City - with midfield colleague Fernandinho having already impressed in a backline role.

Spain international Rodri joined City from Atletico Madrid in a club-record deal in the close season, and an injury crisis meant the midfielder was deployed at the heart of defence against Crystal Palace last month.

Fernandinho was alongside Rodri, the Brazilian having spent much of the campaign in defence following the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany and with Aymeric Laporte suffering a long-term injury.

Rodri drew confidence from the 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park, encouraged his attributes would be well suited to playing the role again in Pep Guardiola's team.

"It was my first time," he told reporters of the Palace game. "But when you look at centre-back, I don't think it is different from holding midfield.

"You have many same qualities; you have to be strong, good in the air and, here at City, good with your feet.

"Of course, it is another position. You have things to learn as you are the last in the line. For me, it was great to learn that sometimes you can play in other positions and it is good to feel other positions.

"I spoke with Guardiola; he was confident to put me in that position and I need some matches, but I fit in that position.

"This position is new for me. For Fernandinho, I think he is doing great performances at centre-back.

"He is top level now in that position, so we need to keep going to keep doing things well and he is doing that."

Rodri revealed manager Guardiola, as a former midfielder, had been able to help his adjustment to the defensive demands of the Premier League.

"We talk many times," Rodri said. "I think football has changed a lot in the last few years.

"Of course, he always tries to help me with my defensive side; be in a good position for the second balls and with the ball, try to read what is going on in the match, such as where are the spaces.

"I think that's the most important thing as a midfielder playing in this team."

Pep Guardiola is open to remaining at Manchester City beyond the end of his current contract in June 2021.

Guardiola is into his fourth season at City – he has never spent longer at a single club – after winning five of the past six major trophies on offer in England.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is finding the going tough this time around, with his team nine-points shy of undefeated leaders Liverpool heading into Saturday's trip to Newcastle United.

Last week, Guardiola bristled at suggestions he could walk away from City at the end of this season and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told Sky Sports he was looking forward to continuing his commitment to Guardiola "for years to come".

Although the 48-year-old insisted it was not time to hold contract talks just yet, he suggested he would welcome an extended stay.

"When you are here for five years it depends on the results," he said. "We will see what happens this season and next season."

Asked to clarify whether he would be open to remaining in Manchester further into the next decade, Guardiola replied: "I am open, yeah. As I have said, I'm so comfortable working in this club."

Nevertheless, the famously intense and demanding coach maintaining a productive working relationship with his players will hold the key.

"I want to see the reaction of my players, the environment and everything," he explained.

"It’s not that simple that I want to extend. I want to see the club, the players and how we are still working together.

"That is the most important thing after five years together. You have to feel we can still do it together and still I can see my players enjoying working together.

"When I feel that is not [the case] I will talk with the club and see the best way [to proceed]."

Despite a drop off from their phenomenal levels of the past two seasons and mixed returns from new arrivals Rodri and Joao Cancelo, Guardiola insists he could not be happier with the men at his disposal.

"I'm comfortable, especially with the players. They are incredible persons. It's a joy to train with them. How well they react when they don’t win or win and don’t play good," he added.

"They are concerned, they want to do better, they want to improve. When you see that, it is a dream come true as a manager and what we have to continue."

Pep Guardiola would be reluctant to stand in Mikel Arteta's way if he had the "privilege" of being offered the Arsenal job.

Arteta finished his playing career with the north London club in 2016 before joining Guardiola's backroom staff at City.

The Gunners are on the lookout for a new head coach after Unai Emery was sacked in the aftermath of a 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt that extended their winless run to seven matches.

Arteta has become an increasingly influential member of Guardiola's coaching team, especially since long-time confidant Domenec Torrent left to take charge of MLS side New York City last year, and Raheem Sterling has credited extra sessions with the ex-Everton midfielder for aiding his rapid development.

His rising stock in the game means the 37-year-old is viewed as one of the favourites to succeed Emery, and Guardiola is realistic about the future of his right-hand man, who he has spoken of as a potential future City boss.

"I said many times to my players, my staff – all of them – they are free to do what they want to do," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League match at Newcastle United, where City will aim to make a dent in their eight-point deficit to leaders Liverpool.

"I don’t want players [unhappy] because they don't play. I want them to stay because they want to.

"The case with Mikel, the relationship, is more about the professional. He is a friend and I want the best for him.

"I want us to stay this season together, next season together, but I don’t know what's going to happen or [what is] the best for him. But tomorrow, travel to Newcastle."

Arteta was rumoured to be close to taking the Arsenal job before Emery won the nod from the Emirates Stadium hierarchy 18 months ago.

As another ex-Gunners favourite, Freddie Ljungberg, prepares to take charge of Arsenal for Sunday's trip to Norwich City, Guardiola does not know whether that 2018 experience will weigh on Arteta's mind if he is approached this time around.

"I don't know the thoughts of the Arsenal board. Mikel, we speak quite often but I don’t know the plan for his future," Guardiola said.

"Ljungberg is in the interim position, I don't know if they are going to call Mikel in the next days.

"Hopefully he can stay with us. If there is some news, I think Arsenal will call the club. I don't know."

Guardiola added: "It's an incredible honour that a prestigious club like Arsenal takes a look at our staff. It's a privilege, good for Mikel and good for the club.

"All that we want is to protect him and hopefully Mikel can stay with us."

Jose Mourinho insists he did not hold talks with Arsenal about replacing Unai Emery before becoming Tottenham's new head coach.

And the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea boss says the identity of the next Gunners head coach matters little to him - regardless of links to former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham last week, replacing the sacked Pochettino, but reports on Friday claimed he would also have been a target for Arsenal had Spurs' rivals moved faster in sacking Emery.

However, any suggestions that Mourinho may have discussed the Arsenal job with head of football Raul Sanllehi were batted away by the Portuguese.

Asked if his representative had met with Arsenal, Mourinho said: "No. No.

"Of course I never deny it because I never deny things. But when I was reading that I was in a meeting with Mr Sanllehi, it is not true."

Pochettino has emerged as one potential option at Emirates Stadium, meaning he would return to face Tottenham and Mourinho in charge of their fiercest rivals.

But Mourinho was not concerned by the prospect, insisting he would be taking on Arsenal and not the new coach.

"I never played against Pochettino in my life. Never," he said. "Manchester United against Tottenham, yes, Tottenham against Chelsea, yes, but never me against Pochettino.

"So if he goes to Arsenal, if he goes to I don't know which club, it will never be me against [him]. It will be me against these clubs.

"So yes, I look forward to playing against Arsenal; yes, I want to play against Arsenal. I know what it means for our fans.

"I know that one is a big one, not just because Arsenal is a big club that fights for the same objectives as we do, but also I know the meaning and I like it."

Sacked head coach Unai Emery sent a goodbye message to Arsenal supporters on Friday, urging them to back the struggling players he has left behind.

Emery was dismissed in the morning after the Gunners' winless run extended to seven matches across all competitions with a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday.

Pressure had been building on the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss, with his tenure lasting just 18 months.

Yet Emery was quick to pay tribute to Arsenal's fans, board and players in a message posted on the club's official website, despite admitting there had been "bitter" moments during his stay.

Former captain Granit Xhaka clashed with supporters as he was jeered at Emirates Stadium last month, but Emery said the squad "deserve your support".

"It has been an honour to be the Arsenal head coach," Emery wrote. "To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal.

"To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game.

"I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort. I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you.

"I also want to send a message of gratitude to all Arsenal employees for the way they have treated me. The greatness of Arsenal is in every director, executive, employee, assistant and volunteer.

"In particular, I want to highlight [former chief executive] Ivan Gazidis, who welcomed me to the club, and [head of football] Raul Sanllehi, [technical director] Edu and [managing director] Vinai Venkatesham for their respect, companionship and help.

"Until the very last minute, I have been treated with honour and honesty. And of course, I send my sincere gratitude to the Kroenke family [owners of the club], for their trust."

Emery, who coached Paris Saint-Germain for two seasons prior to joining the Gunners in 2018, has endured a difficult spell in the Premier League.

"It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones," he said. "But not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.

"They have always honoured the shirt they wear. They deserve your support.

"I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football."

Former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg - who was an assistant to Emery - has taken temporary charge of the Gunners ahead of Sunday's meeting with Norwich City.

David Luiz believes Arsenal's players must take their share of the blame for Unai Emery's sacking.

Head coach Emery was relieved of his duties on Friday, the morning after a 2-1 Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt extended the Gunners' winless run in all competitions to seven matches.

Fans' favourite Freddie Ljungberg will be in interim charge for Sunday's trip to Norwich City and close-season arrival David Luiz – who also played under Emery at Paris Saint-Germain – suggested it is time for Arsenal's players to step up.

"Sad day for everybody, especially because we let u down boss, sorry!!" he tweeted.

"[I] thank you and the amazing staff for everything!! You are a hard worker, passionate for football and a big example always.

"Doesn't matter [about] the results! Good luck for the future!"

David Luiz arrived at Arsenal as a deadline-day signing from Premier League rivals Chelsea, part of an impressive window in the market that also saw club-record signing Nicolas Pepe and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos move to north London.

However, results have not measured up to expectations and Ljungberg will aim to plot an improvement upon 18 points from 13 Premier League matches.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not aware of managers who have struggled with mental health over the precarious nature of the job, although he admits he has long since decided to ignore both pressure and critics.

Klopp was speaking after Arsenal announced they had sacked head coach Unai Emery after a run of just one win in nine games in all competitions.

It means two of the Premier League's 'big-six' clubs have opted to make a change despite seeing their teams contest European finals last season, with Tottenham having already dismissed Mauricio Pochettino this month.

Klopp, whose side sit top of the Premier League after 13 matches and beat Spurs in the Champions League final last term, says it is important for a manager to disregard outside noise about their future for the sake of their own peace of mind.

When asked about the prospect of coaches developing mental health concerns, he told reporters: "It's an intense job, absolutely. I don't think I've heard - not ever, but it's really rare that I've heard - about a manager who struggled, physically, in a medical sense, because of that. I don't really remember.

"There are a lot of things you have to accept before you do the job. A really important skill of a football manager is to ignore a lot of things around you. I'm pretty good at that. Knowing about pressure doesn't mean you have to feel it constantly because you cannot use it, so ignore it. There is responsibility, yes, a lot, but that's a fact before you start, so you can ignore it and just do your best.

"Maybe sometimes it doesn't work out for reasons you can't have an influence on. It happens from time to time. I haven't experienced this. The main problem I think is it's in public, constantly. Everything we do is judged, criticised, whatever, and I decided long ago to ignore that as well. I have no clue what exactly is written about us.

"If our results are bad, I feel bad, and if they are good, I feel good. I don't think there are a lot of managers out there who struggle with it, but it's nice that you think about that. On behalf of all the other managers, thank you very much for caring."

Klopp concedes he was "surprised" to hear of Emery's departure but expects the former Paris Saint-Germain boss to recover quickly.

"It's how the football world is," he said. "It's our life. It's what you sign the moment you sign a contract. We have to make the best of the situation at a club.

"I wish him all the best, of course. He is an outstanding manager and showed that in so many different countries. He will be fine in the future but I'm sure he had big ambitions at Arsenal. Now, Arsenal need to find a solution. Freddie [Ljungberg] is taking the [interim] job now, so that's how it is. There are younger coaches out there, maybe less experienced, but maybe he can take the chance."

Closer to home, Klopp was delighted to see Liverpool's plans to expand Anfield by 7,000 seats, although he is not certain it will make the stadium any more difficult for opposition teams.

"You can lose in a stadium with 100,000 people in!" he said. "It's really early stages so I don't know what I can say, but I saw pictures and it looks really good.

"The best news of that is this club is constantly trying to develop and make the next steps, and that's what I like about the news. Making this iconic place available for more people is a very good idea. It's exciting."

Klopp also sent a message to the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, after a jury on Thursday cleared former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent David Duckenfield of the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 people killed at the stadium.

"Our thoughts and our love is with the families and we are there for them," he said. "I can imagine it's a big disappointment, big frustration, sadness of course, that this looks like the final verdict."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says it is a "shame" Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal after giving his all for the club.

Arsenal announced the 48-year-old's exit on Friday following a seven-match winless run that culminated in Thursday's 2-1 Europa League home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Emery, who lasted just 18 months in the job after succeeding long-serving boss Arsene Wenger, leaves Arsenal eight points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea in the Premier League.

Lampard is sad to see the Spaniard depart but accepts it is part of being a coach.

"I wouldn't say it was inevitable, because nothing's inevitable in football," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference. 

"We're used to a few surprises, especially in the last few weeks. It's not nice. I know the job, I work hard here and everyone wants to be successful. 

"You have a work ethic and an idea, and it doesn't always go the way you want it, and clubs then make a decision. We're all in that category.

"It's a shame because from the outside he looks like a man who gave everything in the role, but now he moves on."

Chelsea's next opponents West Ham are also reportedly considering a managerial change, with Manuel Pellegrini under increasing pressure ahead of Saturday's London derby.

Defeat at Stamford Bridge could spell the end of Pellegrini's tenure, but Lampard insists he will not be any less determined to pick up three points this weekend.

"We all know the ruthless nature of the game now," he said. "Every team, every group of fans, the owner, everybody wants their team to be successful at all times.

"Individually, I understood the ruthless nature of the job being a player and now even more as a manager.

"I will just do my job. West Ham have good individuals, a good team and a good manager. It's a London derby and we have to be ready for them."

Pep Guardiola will not allow his focus to drift towards the bigger picture of the Premier League title race as Manchester City chase victory at Newcastle United.

The defending champions but find themselves third after 13 matches, already nine points behind leaders Liverpool, who defeated Guardiola's men at Anfield this month.

City kick off the latest weekend of Premier League action against Newcastle on Saturday, giving them a chance to leapfrog second-placed Leicester City - albeit possibly only temporarily.

That will be Guardiola's aim at St James' Park, with the former Spaniard insisting he does not like to think about the season as a whole.

"I'm not thinking about how many games we have to win - I know we cannot lose games," he told a news conference.

"I'm not thinking honestly about winning the Premier League right now. I never thought about it, even in the years we won.

"To win the Premier League, we have to be close to Leicester, first of all, and then to Liverpool.

"The target, when you play games in different competitions every three days, is the next one. You choose the best players possible for this specific game and try to win."

City came unstuck at Newcastle last season, having had to settle for a slightly nervy win during the previous campaign.

Guardiola added: "The last two seasons, we won 1-0 and, last season, we lost 2-1. Newcastle away is always one of the nicest environments and stadiums in England.

"Obviously, it's a tough test, but next Tuesday we have Burnley and then the derby against [Manchester] United, so we know the situation we are in.

"We trained really good today [Friday]. I saw the team were ready. We fly this afternoon and then tomorrow, 12.30, we try to do a good game."

Jose Mourinho has been impressed by Dele Alli in his first two matches as Tottenham head coach but wants to see the midfielder find "a certain base" of consistency.

Alli had struggled under Mauricio Pochettino this season, yet he has starred in wins against West Ham and Olympiacos since Mourinho replaced the sacked Argentine.

Mourinho says he has not made any drastic changes to bring the best out of the 23-year-old and wants the England international to maintain the standards he has set.

"I think you have to speak with [Alli] because it was him not me [who changed the performances]," Mourinho said at a news conference. "I don't play, I don't fight, I don't run.

"He is doing everything by himself. We just try to give him the right conditions to feel well to do that. I have to say, two fantastic performances.

"He will not be the man of the match every game. He will have some matches where he will not play as well as he did in these two.

"He has to keep a certain base, a certain platform of performance where he is never going below that, so let's keep that base as the objective.

"He is a fantastic player, young, with all the conditions to develop, so I think he has a bright future and we just want to help him to reach his levels and maintain these levels."

Spurs were dealt a blow this week as it was confirmed left-back Ben Davies suffered ankle ligament damage against West Ham.

But Mourinho insists Davies' absence will not force him to backtrack on earlier comments suggesting he would not rush into the transfer market in January.

"No, we have a good squad," he said. "We have options - Danny Rose is the natural left-back, Jan Vertonghen can do it, he did it already for the club and for the national team.

"In extra emergency, I think even [Serge] Aurier could give us a hand playing there, and we have options at right back. So with one or two injuries, the squad is fine.

"[Davies] will be back and we will survive without him. I trust the other people that can play in the same position, like Danny did in the last match.

"On top of that, I couldn't be at the game but I watched on video our youth team playing in the Champions League, and we also have [Dennis] Cirkin.

"Okay, he's 17, but he's a kid with a lot of quality, and I look forward to bringing him to train with us and to help his development."

Jurgen Klopp admits it is a "massive" blow to lose Fabinho until 2020 but insists Liverpool will find a way to cope without the midfielder.

The Reds confirmed on Friday that Fabinho suffered ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Napoli at Anfield and is unlikely to play again before the turn of the year.

The Brazil international is set to miss Premier League games against Brighton and Hove Albion, Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester City and Wolves, as well as the final Champions League group game away to RB Leipzig, the EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa and the Club World Cup.

Klopp accepts there is no ready-made replacement for a player of Fabinho's qualities, but the Liverpool manager has no doubts about the suitability of Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum playing in the role.

"Oh yes. It's bad news. Nothing good to say about that," he told reporters when asked about the injury. "How long it will take [to recover], we're not sure 100 per cent but it looks pretty sure he will not be involved in the Christmas fixtures.

"We have solutions for the position. We can replace him. We've played good without him, but now it's important to get him doing the right things and get him back as soon as possible. Until then, we have to find solutions. We're not the only team with injured players. It's what we have to deal with now and we will.

"We watched the Napoli game from last year and Hendo played the position, Gini played the position already, Adam Lallana played the position, we can change system… Losing a player of the quality of Fabinho is massive, really bad, but we are not the only team in the Premier League with injuries.

"You want to push that moment as far as possible towards the end of the year because with two weeks out, you miss six games. But that's not the case, we can't change it and we have to find a solution. Will it be exactly like Fabinho? Of course not, because nobody is like the other one, but it will be a good one. We have to play football and win football games again.

"It's not that nobody is as good as him. It's different quality. Gini came on in that position and was brilliant. We just have to make it work. Fab couldn't have played all the games from now until March. It's not cool, but we're in contact with him. We think a lot about it – not in the case of 'oh my God, how can we deal with it?' – just in the case of 'let's do the right thing for Fab, let's do the right thing for the team'."

A strength of Liverpool's this season has been the number of goalscorers they have had across the team in the Premier League, with 13 outfield players having scored at least once in their opening 13 league games.

Klopp, though, is not concerned about who is on the scoresheet provided they can keep up their form against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

"It's not too long ago we spoke about how we rely so much on our front three. I couldn't care less who scores - I'm really happy when the ball is in the net," he said.

"Of course, it's good, but I still think we could have scored more goals, to be honest. It makes us a bit more unpredictable but it's nothing I really think about.

"What I think about at the moment is we play Brighton, with a very, very exciting development. Graham [Potter] is doing a really good job. That's our issue, not who scores. After that game, pretty much everybody has this kind of three games a week coming up now. Brighton had a full week to prepare, they are innovative and think a lot about football and they will come here to try to get the points. We have to be ready three days after a very intense game against Napoli."

As the fixture list piles up, Klopp confirmed he plans to speak with Mohamed Salah, with Egypt's Under-23 coach claiming to be keen to take the forward to the Olympics next year.

"I'm not prepared for that answer yet to be honest," Klopp said. "Too many things happened since I first heard about it. When I leave the press conference, the first thing I do is ask Mo. Maybe next press conference we can speak about it."

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