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The Spaniard, who joined the Reds from Bayern Munich last summer, is nearing full training having been sidelined since October with a knee injury

Jurgen Klopp hopes to have Thiago Alcantara back in full training next week, and believes the Spaniard could be the ideal “January signing” for Liverpool.

Thiago has not featured for the Reds since October due to a knee injury, but was pictured outside at the club’s training centre on Thursday completing a session with rehabilitation fitness coach David Rydings.

The 29-year-old says he is taking his recovery “step by step”, but hinted that he could be ready to return to full training before the end of the year.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, Klopp offered a further update on the situation.

He told reporters: “He is [eager to get back]. We already made jokes here; we said ‘I think we should sign Thiago for January!’

“He is getting closer and closer. He is in a good way but we will not rush it and we cannot rush it. He is not allowed to rush it.

“Of course it’s nice to have him on the pitch. He is not in team training yet and that’s actually the final step.

“We will see how it is, we look at him on the pitch and then next week can he be in team training? I don’t know, 100 per cent. [He will have] a few tests, he has to pass a few until we make that decision.”

Klopp also suggested that James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri, both of who have been sidelined with muscle problems recently, are in a similar position to Thiago and could be ready for a return to training over the Christmas period.

He said: “That’s not only the case for him [Thiago], but also with Milly and Shaq it wil be similar. Did I forget anyone? We have a lot of injured players!”

Liverpool head to Selhurst Park not only without Thiago, Milner and Shaqiri, but also Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota, both of who have knee injuries.

Long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez also remain sidelined, but Joel Matip should return to the squad having shaken off a back issue.

The Reds go into the game top of the Premier League having beaten Tottenham on Wednesday night, but they haven’t won away from home in the league since September having drawn their last four on the road.

“We didn’t feel it,” Klopp said. “It is a little bit about the opponents, we were slightly unlucky as well in one or two games, but it’s a fact, we didn’t win too much away from home.

“We try to change that by doing the right things again. Playing the best possible football is our plan, away and home, and tomorrow we try to achieve that again.”

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December 18, 2020
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