Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has told the Liverpool Echo that his players would not ditch the club for a big six rival in January.
Klopp was answering questions about the future of Alexis Sanchez, who is set to complete his switch to Manchester United from Arsenal on Monday with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.
Sanchez would have been able to walk away for free at the end of the season, and Klopp was eager not to make direct comparisons with a player who has wanted to leave the Emirates for several months.
But Klopp was insistent that no member of his team would have his head turned.
“No Liverpool player of this squad would leave to any other Premier League club during the season,” Klopp said. “It’s how I see the commitment of the players. We are not together for 10 years or so. It’s not just starting but it’s still all fresh and the direction and the development is the right direction. I know it’s far away from being perfect but it’s on a good way.
“It doesn’t mean that players can’t leave the club but we have to make sure that it doesn’t happen often that a player wants to leave the club even when we want to keep him. A few players we will sell or want to sell in the summer, that is part of the business.
“I know now that Alexis Sanchez maybe moves from one club to the other, that was not what I thought about. But you asked me about Liverpool, I can’t see any player at this moment in this moment who would do it.
“It says from my point of view nothing about Alexis Sanchez and stuff like that. It is no criticism on Alexis. He is a fantastic player and obviously he wants to leave since the summer, so it didn’t happen. Now it is more likely.
“It was more like it was with Phil [Coutinho, who was sold to Barcelona] and us, not like it is now with players from this squad who wants to leave for another club, a [big] six club. I can’t see it with this squad.”
Liverpool return to Premier League action on Monday with a trip to rock-bottom Swansea, and Klopp wants to make sure his side finds consistency after last weekend’s huge 4-3 win at home to Manchester City.
If they manage to avoid defeat it would be the club’s longest unbeaten run for more than 21 years, when they went 20 games undefeated.
“If nobody told me how often we didn’t lose, I’d have no idea about it. That’s all the past and I’m not really interested,” he said. “As a Liverpool player you cannot perform one week and then two weeks not — we need to deliver consistently, every day and each game.
“It’s only the next game and I can’t imagine any easy games in the Premier League and Swansea is for sure not an easy game.
“They are bottom of the table but they are in a good way. What you have seen since the new manager has come in is a big improvement again: much better results and they won their FA Cup replay during the week.
“I’m not even sure if we’ll have a look at our game against Swansea because it will be different.
“We need to have a look at the games since they changed their manager. That’s a challenge to be honest but if you know about a challenge you can be prepared for it.
“That’s my job to do: that we go there and don’t think about the 5-0 or Man City, only think about what we have to do to keep them away from our goal and be as often as possible in front of their goal.”