Jurgen Klopp has downplayed Liverpool’s rivalry with Chelsea and insists he ‘respects’ the job Frank Lampard is doing at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool travel to face Chelsea this weekend in a hugely anticipated match up between the two rivals, with both sides having made winning starts to the new Premier League season.
The Premier League champions will face a Blues side who have spent heavily in the summer transfer market as they bid to challenge this season, with Klopp recently having sent a not so subtle jibe in the direction of the west London side and their billionaire backing.
The two sides have enjoyed an ever increasing rivalry since the turn of the millennium and their most recent clash saw tensions rise on Merseyside, Chelsea boss Lampard embroiled in a touchline confrontation with the Liverpool coaching staff.
Ahead of this weekend’s clash Klopp has played down the rivalry between the two sides, however, and insists he has full respect for Lampard and his work since taking charge.
“There is no rivalry. You make a story that I said something about the transfer business of Chelsea,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
“What I said is that in the situation we’re in, we cannot deal with the situation like other clubs – one of them was Chelsea. I respect a lot what he is doing.”
Liverpool have made just one signing in the transfer window to date with the capture of Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos, though the club are closing in on a statement signing after agreeing a deal to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago.
Klopp refused to discuss the Spaniard’s impending arrival in detail despite the deal edging ever closer, though did reveal that Thiago’s signing will not impact the future of his current first-team squad amid suggestions one of his midfield options may have to depart.
“There is nothing really to say. It’s not official until it is announced. It looks quite promising,” Klopp added.
“If it happens, it has no impact on anybody’s future in a negative way. Somebody has to leave if somebody comes in – no.”