JÜRGEN Klopp has been left frustrated by delays over Sadio Mane’s return to Liverpool.
Senegal were dumped out of the African Cup of Nations on penalties, with Mane missing the decisive spot kick.
And the club had hoped to get Mane back yesterday, laying on a private jet to bring him back to Merseyside in time to take part in team training.
However, delays over the flight back mean that has not been possible and there will need to be further assessment over Mane’s availability for Chelsea’s visit.
When quizzed on the expected timescale of Mane’s return, Klopp said: “I don’t know exactly.
“The club did an outstanding job to bring him back as soon as possible and he is now on his way.
“We thought it would be possible yesterday: we had a plane there but he was not allowed to go in the plane so we had to wait.
Mane was reduced to tears on the pitch after missing the crucial penalty in Saturday’s quarter-final shootout defeat to Cameroon.
But the reaction on Merseyside was one of excitement — though there was sympathy saved for the crestfallen Mane — with a potential return against Chelsea still on the cards.
And while Klopp is pleased to have his £30million summer signing back, the German doesn’t think fans should expect Mane to be the answer to all the Reds’ current problems.
“It was a strange situation in the Senegal game against Cameroon and I wish not for one second he missed the penalty at the end but it happened so he is coming back,” he added.
“He is a quality player. It is easier if you have him in the team or around the team than when you don’t have him. That’s fair.
“But it is not that he can decide games by himself or we should expect this.
“We came through December and most of January without Phil Coutinho.
“I spoke about a few reasons about why it was not good in January but I don’t want to think about the last few games any more.”
The hope is that Mane will be available to at least feature against Chelsea, a match being billed as make or break for Liverpool’s chances of silverware this season.
But Klopp insists the club will have a late decision over whether Mane is ready to feature.
“He is kind of an option for the Chelsea game. He is back at least for the Hull game and that is good for us.
“We have to decide whether we can involve him for tomorrow somehow or not.
“Everything is like it was before he left. It is a very good player back for selection, that can only be good news.”