(Reuters) - Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is unlikely to play for the club again, despite signing a short-term extension until the end of the season, as another injury would risk his next career move, manager Juergen Klopp has said.
Lallana, who has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons, has not played since the league started back up after the COVID-19 shutdown and Klopp said the 32-year-old would not be risked despite being fully fit.
Lallana was set to leave on a free transfer when his contract expired on June 30 but penned an agreement to see out the remaining matches of the campaign.
“It’s clear that Adam will leave the club in the summer... He’s there and trains 100% but as long as we don’t need it he’ll just train,” Klopp told reporters.
“There was a lot of discussions about players with ending contracts but his was not even a discussion: it was clear we would extend Adam’s contract and he wanted to do that as well.
“We’ll not put any risk on his future... He’s one of the most important players since my time here so I wish him only the best for the future ... he’s already a legend here so he can now be a legend somewhere else from next season on.”
Lallana, who joined from Southampton in 2014, has featured in 15 league games during the current campaign.
“He’s had very important games for us but what he did on the training ground, that was absolutely exceptional,” Klopp added.
“The young players when they talk about their most important things in the future, what happened in their first two years, they’ll mention Adam Lallana, 100%.”
Liverpool visit Brighton & Hove Albion later on Wednesday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford