Adam Lallana has revealed that his long goodbye at Liverpool lasted nine months, with Jurgen Klopp deciding that he was free to move on in October 2019.

Serious complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic were, however, to extend the 2020-21 campaign towards the 12-month mark.

It was July before Lallana finally severed ties with Liverpool, with a move to Brighton made on the back of a Premier League title triumph.

The 32-year-old enjoyed six productive years on Merseyside, making it hard to walk away, but he had been given plenty of notice when it came to piecing together future plans.

Discussing his departure with BBC Radio 5 Live, Lallana said: “To give you a bit of an insight, I spoke to Jurgen in October of last year and just sat down and had an open conversation.

“We have a great relationship and I just said ‘what’s it looking like for me next year? I know I’m out of contract and I know I’m not playing regularly’.

“Although I had a pretty big role in the squad around the team, I wanted a bit of honesty. He basically said to me in October, ‘get your agent to start looking for another club’.

“That doesn’t mean you’re not in my plans or he isn’t going to use me. Four days later he brought me on at Old Trafford and I scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United and I think that shows what type of person Jurgen is. He’s very honest.

“He said to me I deserve to be playing more and I deserve more game time and to be playing more. He couldn’t offer that to me so from then I had his blessing the club’s blessing to give my agent the go-ahead to speak to other clubs about next season, which is now this season.”

Taking the decision to part ways was difficult for all concerned, with Klopp having spoken in glowing terms of Lallana since he linked up with a Premier League rival.

The German tactician said: “For now, if you ask me about it, I miss already everything about him. He is one of the most influential players on the training quality I have ever had in my life. He is an incredible professional.

“So he is one of the most important players of the time since I am here so I wish him only the best for the future.

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By admin