Fer­gu­son re­veals 3am cel­e­bra­tory call from Klopp af­ter ti­tle tri­umph

Sir Alex hails man­ager for stamp­ing per­son­al­ity on club Liver­pool play­ers told to avoid dan­ger zones on hol­i­day

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Chris Bas­combe

Jur­gen Klopp called Sir Alex Fer­gu­son at 3am to cel­e­brate win­ning the Pre­mier League ti­tle, the for­mer Manch­ester United man­ager re­vealed last night.

Fer­gu­son, who awarded Klopp the League Man­agers’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s Man­ager of the Year prize, joked that he was pre­pared to for­give Klopp’s ex­u­ber­ance af­ter such an out­stand­ing sea­son. Klopp, re­turn­ing a com­pli­ment, said that his first meet­ing with Fer­gu­son was akin to an au­di­ence with the Pope.

“Jur­gen, fan­tas­tic,” Fer­gu­son said. “Liver­pool … 30 years since win­ning that league, in­cred­i­ble. You thor­oughly de­served it. The per­for­mance level of your team was out­stand­ing. Your per­son­al­ity runs right through­out the club. I’ll for­give you for wak­ing me up at 3.30am to tell me you have won the league!”

Liver­pool play­ers, mean­while, must sub­mit hol­i­day plans dur­ing their brief post-sea­son break, as the club de­mand they take re­spon­si­bil­ity for avoid­ing Covid-19 in­fec­tion.

Klopp says his squad will re­veal their in­tended move­ments and be told to avoid risk­ing pre-sea­son prepa­ra­tions dur­ing their fort­night’s ab­sence.

“The boys can go on hol­i­day, ob­vi­ously, and we know where they will go,” Klopp said. “Th­ese coun­tries are all com­pletely fine. But this sit­u­a­tion can change con­stantly.

“That is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the boys. They are all adults and they have to make sure they know when they have to leave this spe­cific coun­try. You have to just fol­low the news and re­act. It is not our job to say to them, ‘By the way, maybe Spain has closed the bor­der now’. We can­not do that, the boys are re­spon­si­ble and they know that.

“They will get a pro­gramme to work on. But they are re­spon­si­ble for them­selves as well. We will help, of course, but they need to be aware of the sit­u­a­tion and you can­not go on hol­i­day and do the things you could in the past. We have to be dis­ci­plined. But the boys are ex­cep­tional. Not only ours, but ev­ery­one. We have had no new cases in the whole pe­riod of the sea­son.

“It shows that they are all good, and I hope it stays like this and we will come back and train again.”

Goal­keeper Alis­son Becker has al­ready said he will not re­turn to Brazil dur­ing his break, to avoid in­fec­tion.

When Liver­pool re­turn, they might head to their new train­ing base in Kirkby, as the site is ready for use. Klopp must de­cide if the quick turn­around be­tween sea­sons makes the switch pos­si­ble or whether he would pre­fer to wait.

He would also like to re­turn to the French train­ing camp in Evian, where so much es­sen­tial prepa­ra­tion was com­pleted last sea­son.

“In our case, we have to play the Com­mu­nity Shield,” Klopp said. “For the teams still in the Europa League and Cham­pi­ons League, it is re­ally tricky. It is un­be­liev­ably in­tense for th­ese teams. So, for us, the sit­u­a­tion is OK. But for oth­ers, it is much more dif­fi­cult, 100 per cent.”

De­jan Lovren, mean­while, has com­pleted a £10 mil­lion move to Zenit St Petersburg, fol­low­ing Adam Lal­lana as a high-pro­file de­par­ture. Lal­lana signed a three­year deal with Brighton,

Klopp has em­pha­sised that he can­not de­mand funds for re­place­ments un­til foot­ball’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion is clearer. “It is re­ally dif­fi­cult to judge the fu­ture,” he said.

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