Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is surprised forward Sadio Mane is being lined up by Senegal for an early return from injury after being included in the Teranga Lions' squad for their final World Cup qualifiers next month.
Mane had initially been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury suffered during the last international break and was surprisingly included in the 25-man squad due to face South Africa on 10 and 14 November.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, whose side need two points from the games to secure a place in Russia next summer, claimed Mane would be "100%" fit for the double-header and would be ramping up his recovery next week.
Though the ex-Southampton forward has only missed two Liverpool games, against Manchester United and Maribor, he has made no significant progress towards an early return which is not expected to come until late next month, leaving Klopp bemused by Senegal's optimism.
"I don't know how he [Cisse] can know but I don't know so that's how it is," said the Liverpool boss, according to Sky Sports. "Sadio is still in rehab, still indoors, so that is the situation at the moment. If he is fit earlier I would be really happy but nobody knows at this moment so nothing else to say.
"They have very important games, I think they need two points, so let's hope they qualify. I can imagine they are feeling the pressure a little bit but we cannot change the situation. If Sadio is fit, we cannot hide it, why should we do it? If he is fit, we can do nothing to keep him here and he would go to the national team of Senegal."
In the absence of Mane, Liverpool recaptured their shooting boots in the 7-0 demolition of Slovenian minnows Maribor as Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both scored twice. But the display was underpinned by an impressive showing from 31-year-old James Milner on just his third start of the campaign.
The Daily Telegraph understand Liverpool will resist any offer for Milner during the January transfer window, when his contract will enter the final 18 months, despite his limited appearances this season. And Klopp has reaffirmed that stance.
"It's no problem," he explained, per the Liverpool Echo. "I was never in doubt about him. I was really happy for him. It's the situation we want and need. We need more high quality players than 11. We play without Clyne, Lallana and Mane and we still have more players than we can use. I respect Milly a lot, he is a very important player for us both on and off the pitch."