Jurgen Klopp insists anyone thinking Kevin De Bruyne’s injury levels the playing field in the Premier League is an "a**hole".
Manchester City’s star man last season is out for three months with a knee injury, with Liverpool the bookies’ tip to provide the biggest challenge to Pep Guardiola’s side.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Klopp feels City have more than enough options to make up for the Belgian’s absence, and even revealed he was desperate to sign De Bruyne while at Dortmund but was thwarted by then-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
When asked if the injury evens the playing field, Klopp told Sky Sports: I think somebody who thinks like that, about a situation like that, is an a**hole, to be honest. I am not like that. First of all, I wish him the absolute very best.
I love this player, I wanted him desperately when I was at Dortmund and he was at Chelsea, but Jose didn’t give him to me!
What a season he had, what a World Cup he played. I really feel for him. They have options of course, like they always have options, they brought in Riyad Mahrez, but they can all play in different positions.
Bernardo Silva can play a bit deeper, Foden can play in positions, Gundogan can play in positions.
Nobody needs to worry about Man City and their quality, there is still a lot there. We don’t look at the other teams, we really only try to make the best of our situation, and that will hopefully work.
De Bruyne, City’s Player of the Year last season, had only returned to the club last week after being allowed extended time away from the squad following his involvement at the World Cup with Belgium.
Manchester City host Huddersfield in their first home fixture of the 2018/19 season on Sunday, while Liverpool go to Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football, both live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Watch more from Jurgen Klopp’s exclusive interview from 6am on Sky Sports News on Monday, ahead of Crystal Palace v Liverpool in the Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League