Jurgen Klopp admitted it would be very difficult for Liverpool to sign a player who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, claiming they would become “a constant threat” to his squad.
Klopp has been vocal on the importance of people receiving the coronavirus vaccination amid a significant rise in infections in the United Kingdom driven by the Omicron variant.
The Premier League schedule has been badly disrupted in the past week, with five out of six games postponed on Saturday due to outbreaks within squads.
Liverpool trio Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were also suspected to have contracted the virus and missed the win over Newcastle United this week, although the Reds’ clash with Tottenham on Sunday is due to go ahead.
Vaccine take-up has been very strong within the Liverpool squad, and Klopp believes the logistical challenges of bringing in a player without any form of protection would be too great.
“We are not close to signing a player, but I thought about it and yes, it will be influential, definitely,” he said.
“If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us. He doesn’t want to be a threat. It is not that he thinks: ‘I don’t care about the others.’ But he is [a threat] and we have to find different scenarios.
“He has to change in a different dressing room, he has to eat in a different dining room, he has to sit in a different bus, he has to drive in a different car: from an organisational point of view, it gets really messy.
“If one [player] gets COVID and he [the unvaccinated player] was around him in the last four days, he will be in isolation. If we have to travel to a country to play international football, and we come back, he has to self-isolate. Of course, it is going to be influential. We have to do all these kinds of things, like building extra buildings for unvaccinated players, and it will not happen.”
Liverpool go into the game in north London in second place in the Premier League, having won eight consecutive games in all competitions.
They have won the past six league meetings with Spurs and lost just once in 17 such games, while the last league defeat they suffered in the month of December was against Bournemouth five years ago.