Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren could be fit to face Leicester

• Lovren back in training ahead of schedule after knee problem
• Klopp laments injuries to Liverpool’s central defenders

Posted Saturday, December 26, 2015 by theguardian.com

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren could be fit to face Leicester

Jurgen Klopp has lamented the continued disruption to the heart of his Liverpool defence but revealed Dejan Lovren could be fit for Leicester City’s visit to Anfield on Boxing Day.

Liverpool will be without Martin Skrtel for the next six weeks with a hamstring and tendon injury sustained in the 3-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday and Lovren has been sidelined since the draw against West Bromwich Albion with a knee problem.

The Croatian returned to training ahead of schedule this week but Klopp, mindful of Mamadou Sakho’s performance at Vicarage Road when recalled from a similar position, may be left with Kolo Touré and the France international against the Premier League leaders. Simon Mignolet, who missed the Watford game with a hamstring problem, is also available and is expected to reclaim his place at the expense of Adam Bogdan.

Klopp said: "Martin is not too good and needs time. He’s a tough guy who usually recovers quick but we can’t put pressure on it. It will be a few weeks at least and is really bad for us. Dejan has been back in training two days in a row and is available.

"Daniel Sturridge is still doing his little pre-season in a good way, 7-10 days like this and then we’ll see. Simon is back training normally today but James Milner has no chance for Leicester. Nobody knows where his calf injury came from and we have to wait one or two weeks. That’s not too good for us too – it’s a long list."

The Liverpool manager added: "I would like to change the centre-halves sometimes but only because of the amount of games and nothing else. We lost Mama when he was in perfect shape and he came back when of course he had problems; it was not easy for him to come back in. Dejan was in perfect shape before he went out and now we have to see how he is, and now Martin [is out] when he was in perfect shape."

Liverpool could face late competition from Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA Moscow in their attempt to sign Marko Grujic from Red Star Belgrade, although the midfielder has declared his intention to complete a move to Anfield in January.

Grujic is in line to become the first signing of the Klopp era after Liverpool agreed a £5m fee with the Serbian league leaders last week.

Anfield remains the 19-year-old’s most likely destination, with the teenager expected on Merseyside for a medical and to conclude the deal early in the new year, but Zenit and CSKA have registered their interest in recent days.

Liverpool’s agreement with Red Star would see Grujic remain in Belgrade until the end of the Serbian league season and move to England in the summer.

"There is nothing to tell about that," said Klopp on Thursday. "We try to be prepared all the time but January is not the easiest window with big prices on the market. I’m not the biggest friend of the January transfer window but if we have to react, we will – that could be if a player comes to me and asks to leave or if we have another injury. We are not planning for more and more players but if we have to react we will."



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