(Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Wednesday he has not yet decided whether the club will only sign players vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future, adding that the vaccination status of his squad was “quite good”.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard and his Crystal Palace counterpart Patrick Vieira both said that vaccine status might be a consideration in the decision-making process when signing new players as cases continue to rise in the league.
The Premier League said in October that 68% of its players were double-jabbed but on Monday announced a record 42 cases in a week. With games being postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks, Klopp said it was too soon to think about the January window.
“Who knows where we will be when we start signing players again,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Thursday’s home game against 19th-placed Newcastle United.
“The whole vaccination thing is a massive question of loyalty, solidarity and togetherness. We have a chance to help not only ourselves but other people as well.
“It is important to support the measures… The vaccination status of the team is quite good. Hopefully we can do it with the whole team.
“I (arrive) earlier on the training ground than most of the players and am tested before the players arrive. When it’s negative, we are allowed to enter. We are like the whole world, concerned about it and we do what we can.”
Klopp said forward Roberto Firmino is back in training after recovering from a thigh injury and is in contention for the first time since early November.
He also confirmed defender Joe Gomez would not be sent on loan for game time following his injury lay off.
“We are patient and Joe is patient. I don’t have any plans to give anyone on loan in the winter,” Klopp said.
“I will not be the driving force, anyway. He still needs time to train to get to where he was before.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)