'I'd like to go' - Liverpool star hands Arne Slot fresh headache and new pre-season disruption

Wataru Endo and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre
-Credit: (Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Wataru Endo has admitted that he wants to represent Japan at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The Liverpool midfielder has represented his country in the men’s football tournament twice before, having captained Japan in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 before being selected as an overage player in 2021 in Tokyo.

Suffering a group-stage exit in the former as he started all three games, he was an ever-present again in his home games as Japan narrowly missed out on a Bronze medal, losing to Mexico in the third-place play-off after losing 1-0 AET to Spain in the semi-finals.

READ MORE: Liverpool announce major new sponsorship deal after five year absence and £272m milestone

READ MORE: Liverpool prodigy poached from Man City now without a club aged 23 - with 'truth' still to come out

This year’s Olympic Games take place in Paris, with the men’s football tournament taking place between July 24 and August 9. Squads need to be submitted by July 3, with players missing the bulk of pre-season as a result, though their clubs are not obliged to sanction their departures.

Endo has confirmed that he would wish to represent Japan in Paris though, leaving Liverpool with a difficult decision to make if he is selected.

“I’m also kind of wondering what will happen,” he told ABEMA Sports Time. “Nothing has been decided yet.

“But my stance is that if I’m selected, I’d like to go.”

Meanwhile, Egypt have already confirmed that they would like to call up Mohamed Salah for the tournament.

Confirming his stance in June, head coach Ruggero Micali told "We have 10 names under consideration, and we will choose three players from them.

"We have some shortcomings that need to be taken into account in the final selection. Negotiations with foreign clubs are lengthy to allow their players to join us at the Olympics, and we hope that those selected will get approval from their clubs.

"We are still awaiting the outcome of communication with Salah and his club Liverpool through the Egyptian Football Association. We definitely want him with us. I wish Salah could play with us at the Olympics.

"As I said earlier, it is always good for a player to be involved, we do not interfere in players' clubs about whether or not they are in the squad, our job is to determine who can help us, and obviously if many of them do not play, they may arrive at matches without fitness, and this is not good."

Liverpool could technically also see Stefan Bajcetic and Alexis Mac Allister called up for Olympics duty, though Ibrahima Konate has not been named in the already confirmed France squad.

It remains to be seen if the 19-year-old would come into consideration though, following an injury-plagued 18 months and having only been capped once by Spain Under-21s to date, while the Argentine’s involvement in the Copa America will likely spare him a further international call-up this summer.