Jurgen Klopp insists that Liverpool are showing Sadio Mane and Mo Salah “respect” by letting them fly to Ghana for an awards ceremony this week.
The pair will be present at the CAF Awards on Thursday – the night before the Merseyside derby clash with Everton in the FA Cup third round.
Both have been shortlisted for the player of the year award, along with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, report the Liverpool Echo.
And after his side’s dramatic 2-1 win at Burnley, Klopp confirmed that both players would be given permission to make the 9,000-mile round trip this week.
Klopp said: “Yes, they will go. We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect.
“If it had been a matchday they wouldn’t have asked, but the night before is fine. We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference, the modern world.
“If Mo is not fit, it will not be for that. For our side, it is just a sign of respect. I know it, I had Aubameyang too, and there is nothing more important for them than to go there. It’s fine.”
Klopp confirmed that the pair would train separately at Melwood on Thursday morning before flying to Ghana, but confirmed that Salah, who missed the game at Turf Moor, was a doubt to face Everton anyway due to a groin injury.
Philippe Coutinho is also struggling with a sore thigh, and was another to miss the win over Burnley.
“Him and Mo are injured,” he said. “Not massively but enough for today, no chance and at least a doubt for Everton.”