Belfast Telegraph

Jurgen Klopp confident Liverpool title talk could be close to mark

By Robert Jones

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists he has no timetable to make the club league champions again but is sure if they maintain their current progress they will be on the right track.

Tonight's visit of Chelsea, the deposed Barclays Premier League title holders, pits two sides who would have expected to be challenging for the top this year but are instead in eighth and ninth respectively.

The German - whose side are in next Wednesday's Europa League final - promised when he arrived in mid-October that he would win titles at Anfield but has set himself no time-limits on that and his only requirement is the team keeps on improving.

"I'm not too interested in when Chelsea can next win the title and I have no idea when we can but I promise we will try everything to build on the base of this season," said Klopp, who is preparing for his 50th match in charge.

"We can get sixth position, it isn't the biggest success in the history of Liverpool, but everyone interested in Liverpool can see the good signs and we will build on it.

"We have to improve and I am sure we will."

Klopp has one eye already on next season and plans are well under way for that but he brushed aside suggestions he would be having a clear-out in the summer to prepare for it.

And he dismissed the latest speculation linking Christian Benteke with a £25million move to West Ham.

"We think about transfers, we think about everything, but a lot of rumours are really far away from the actual thing," he said.

"It is really funny when you are involved. Sometimes I've never heard of the player who has been linked with Liverpool."

Liverpool's final league match is at West Brom on Sunday before the Europa League final against Sevilla in Basle.

"I've learned to rotate - I'm not the world champion at this but I'm not too bad, and we will be ready 100 per cent for the final," he said.

Klopp has been boosted by captain Jordan Henderson's return to outdoor training after a knee ligament injury last month.

It will be a race to be fit for the Europa League final but the German is adamant he will be fine for Euro 2016 with England.

"It's only nine days until the final so not sure about that but 100 per cent he will be fit for the Euros," he added.

Meanwhile, John Terry may have played his 703rd and final game for Chelsea as he begins a two-match suspension after being sent off against Sunderland.

Interim Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink reckons the club legend deserves a public farewell if he is leaving this summer.

"Whatever will happen, whether he stays, whether he goes - in the last option, he deserves a huge goodbye," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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