Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said his relationship with Manchester United caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick is “on hold” ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash between the two clubs.
The two managers clashed during their time in the Bundesliga and Rangnick influenced Klopp and other contemporary German managers with his gegenpressing tactical style.
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Before Rangnick moved to Old Trafford, Klopp hailed United for hiring an “outstanding” manager, but the Liverpool manager said he had been unable to contact him regularly since arriving in England.
“My relationship with Ralf Rangnick is on hold,” Klopp said at a press conference on Monday. “I haven’t spoken to him since he’s been in England out of respect, but you can see the changes he’s made there and the parts he’s improved.
“When I prepare for the game against United I don’t think about Ralf, it’s about preparing the team.”
Liverpool can lift Manchester City to the top of the Premier League table with a win over United at Anfield.
Klopp’s side enter the game with momentum after beating Benfica last week to secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals while booking their place in the FA Cup final with a thrilling 3-win. 2 against City on Saturday.
Liverpool produced a stunning display and beat United 5-0 in the reverse fixture in October at Old Trafford, but Klopp warned United were still a dangerous side.
“The Man United that we will face, they will go for that,” he added. “They want to go to the Champions League. It will be an intense 90 minutes. This time it is again an incredibly important game for both teams. That says it all. Both teams are fighting.”
Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick in that memorable United game but has failed to score for Liverpool from open play since February, but Klopp is unimpressed with the forward’s form.
“It’s a completely normal fate that he goes through,” he said. “We talked about the physical demands. I liked the game against [Manchester] City a lot, it was a very good game of football, it was only a matter of time before he scored again. He’s been pretty close several times.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions over the time we’ve worked together and right now there’s no need to talk about the situation, just normal things about what he needs to do in the game and everything. this kind of things.”