Premier League

Klopp compares Ranieri sacking to Trump, Brexit triumphs

Jurgen Klopp says Claudio Ranieri's sacking as Leicester City manager was a "strange decision" on a par with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

The Premier League champions announced late on Thursday that Ranieri had been dismissed as a result of consistently poor results this season, with Leicester just one point above the relegation zone with 13 games to play.

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The decision was made less than 10 months after Ranieri had guided Leicester to a sensational title triumph, prompting former striker Gary Lineker to describe it as "inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad".

And Klopp, who takes his Liverpool side to the King Power Stadium on Monday, has compared the contentious nature of Ranieri's dismissal to Trump's victory in the United States presidential elections and the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

"Am I surprised that things like this can happen? No. It's not only football. There have been a few strange decisions in 16-17: Brexit, Trump, Ranieri…," he told a news conference.

"I've no idea why Leicester have done this. Everybody can see their situation in the league and Champions League.

"He is a really special person, a really nice guy. I met him when he visited me at [Borussia] Dortmund. 

"I don't know enough – maybe you have to go to Leicester to ask them why they did it. But I'm not sure if it changes a lot for us. We don't know what we should expect but Leicester probably now know what the problem is. We should see the best Leicester."

Monday's game is Liverpool's first since the 2-0 victory over Tottenham on February 11, with Klopp having taken his squad for a training camp in La Manga during their two-week break.

Daniel Sturridge was forced to return to England after picking up a virus and defender Dejan Lovren has been struggling with a knee problem, making both a doubt for the Leicester game.

Klopp, however, has suggested that both could be in contention to make the squad depending on how they perform in training this weekend.

"It was good, but unfortunately not all the players could join us. Daniel tried but he had a virus infection. He'll probably come in today [Friday] for the first time," he said.

"Dejan Lovren could not join us. He was running today. There's no long-term concern about his knee.

"Before Chelsea he struggled a little bit, in the warm-up it felt better but after the game the pain was too big for him.

"We sent him to a specialist and the specialist found a few things not directly on the knee and he was fine. He will be very, very close for the Leicester game."

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