Jurgen Klopp admits Virgil van Dijk will decide when he feels ready to play again – but it will be “very, very tight” for the Liverpool defender to feature before next season.

Jurgen Klopp said: “Virgil’s knee. I don’t want to hold him back, but you cannot force it as well. If you want to play in a tournament, you have to train beforehand, proper football training – and not a week before but weeks before. You can’t after 10 or 11 months out train a week and then play football, that is just not possible. It should not be possible. Nobody is holding him back, I can promise all the people in Holland that. But you can’t force it, and we will not.”

Liverpool have only five Premier League games remaining this season with only three weeks to go until the final match at home to Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp added: “We are talking about a player and his career, so nobody should force it. Not Holland, not us, and not Virgil. He just tries to get as fit as possible. At the moment, nobody knows when that will be exactly. But you can imagine, for sure it will be very, very tight with the Euros and team training and stuff like that. He is not in team training yet and will not be in the next weeks. I don’t know, but in the end it is the decision of Virgil and he will be massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.”

Van Dijk has been out since suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage when caught by a horror challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at Goodison back in October. Klopp, though, has confirmed Van Dijk remains weeks away from a return to full training, casting major doubt over his availability for the tournament in which Holland’s first group game against Ukraine takes place on June 13. And when asked who will determine when the 29-year-old can return to action,

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