By David Lynch, Merseyside Correspondent

3rd Mar, 2023 | 6:42pm

Sources: Liverpool set for 'big' pre-season change with decision this month

Liverpool are set to make a big change to their pre-season plans for 2023 as they aim to correct the fitness issues that have led to their struggles this term, sources have told Football Insider.

The Reds will delay the money-spinning tour element of their summer schedule this time around, instead kicking off their preparations with a European training camp.

That is a reverse of last year’s timetable, when Jurgen Klopp and his squad flew straight out to Asia to begin laying the foundations for what has transpired to be a season to forget.

Liverpool faced Manchester United in Thailand and Crystal Palace in Singapore before heading back to Europe for a stint in Austria and further friendlies against Red Bull Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg.

There is a belief at Anfield that the lengthy travel and commercial commitments relating to that initial trip to Asia cut into valuable early training time, resulting in a slew of fitness problems this term.

The Reds have been plagued by muscle injuries in 2022-23, with key men Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold among those to have suffered.

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The hope is that similar issues can be avoided next season by putting in the hard yards in Europe in week one before jetting further afield in the third week of pre-season.

Liverpool remain in negotiations over where exactly they will be heading, with a return to Asia or a stay in the United States the two options currently being discussed.

A decision is expected by the end of the month.

Klopp recently hinted at his frustrations over Liverpool’s last pre-season, saying: “Would I do anything differently? I wouldn’t go, in the first week, to Asia.

“Not because Asia is not great, but I would go to Asia in the third week, or something like that, but it was not in really in our hands.

“Is that the reason? No, I don’t think so. But would it have been better to do it differently? Yes. We learn from these kind of things, but in the end we have to deal with them.

“We played until the last match day. We planned the pre-season long before that, but we were in a super positive mood, we could have won everything. We didn’t win everything and we had to deal with that.

“It’s not that just because we are Liverpool we are not allowed to have problems.”

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