Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he was “surprised” by Roberto Firmino‘s decision to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Brazil international informed the club last week that he wanted to end his eight-year spell at Anfield when his contract expires in June.
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Firmino received a huge ovation by the Liverpool fans when he was brought on and scored the final goal in the 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United on Sunday.
When asked about the striker’s decision in Friday’s news conference, Klopp replied: “Surprised, yes. A little bit.
“But I respect that a lot. It’s completely normal in this kind of long relationship what we have and what Bobby has with the club, the fans — it’s pretty special.
“I loved the reception he got when he came on against United. He said: ‘Now I want to bring this wonderful story to a positive end.’
“He’s completely here and completely committed and that’s all we need to know. There’s no time for a goodbye in this moment — we have another time for that later in the season.”
Liverpool have regained some consistency in the Premier League in recent games but Klopp said the squad cannot take that confidence for granted in their quest for a top-four spot.
The Merseyside club moving up to fifth place after thumping United at Anfield and sit three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
“There’s no better mood booster than a good game for us, you see it in training,” Klopp added.
“We had consistency in the league in the last five games, but confidence is a fragile little flower and we have to make sure we keep that.
“There’s a general feeling that we have to chase and we have to challenge everybody, but that’s only a little side story. The main thing is going to Bournemouth and playing a game there and not counting the points before you have them.”
Klopp said Luis Diaz, Thiago and Joe Gomez will not be available for the trip as they continue to recover from injuries, with the German expecting to have them back after the international break this month.
Information from Reuters was included in this report.
Klopp ‘surprised’ by Firmino’s decision to leave Liverpool