Jurgen Klopp makes ‘sexy’ Liverpool transfer claim as ‘next steps’ emerge for summer plan

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are ready to take the “next steps” in their squad evolution as he detailed the process in identifying transfer targets.

The Reds have steadily been remoulding their squad over the past two years with Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz all playing important roles in the ongoing quest for an unprecedented quadruple.

Teenage Fulham attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho is poised to become the latest addition in the coming weeks, while the Reds are already eyeing long-term reinforcements with midfield duo Aurelian Tchouameni of Monaco and Borussia Dortmund youngster Jude Bellingham among those being monitored.

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And Klopp, who joined his assistants Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz in this week extending his Anfield commitment until 2026, is convinced Liverpool are in “a good moment” to compete for their chosen transfer targets.

“I cannot remember that we struggle to get players in that we wanted to get in,” said the Reds boss., whose team are at Newcastle United in the Premier League in Saturday’s early kick-off. “I think Philippe (Coutinho) was the last one probably (that we lost) but that always can happen. At the moment the boys play really good football and the club is in a good place.

“We had a lot of difficulties in the past for different reasons but the club is in a good moment. It is another message we don’t want to rest here. We want to use it as a basis for the next steps. We have to. And that is what we try to do.

“How we do that? I know from the outside it’s always ‘sign him, sign him, sign him’ but we were always a bit different, we tried it the other way while (still) signing players, obviously.

“I can’t remember the last time we struggled talking to a player. It doesn’t mean they all come, but it wasn’t that we were not sexy enough or shiny enough. It was just another plan from the other club on his position for him, maybe a more comfortable situation, the position is open there but here he has to fight (for his position), these kind of things but it was not because the club is not shiny enough.”

The forthcoming transfer window will be the first in several years without the input of Michael Edwards, who will imminently be officially succeeded by Julian Ward in the role of sporting director at Liverpool.

Klopp, though, is accused of working with the recruitment team and within the financial boundaries imposed by owners Fenway Sports Group which have forced the Reds to be creative when challenging for players up against the likes of Manchester duo City and United and, until recently, Chelsea.

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“We have to!” said the Reds boss. “You might remember from the first press conference I was asked about the transfer committee, it was the first time I met people and I was told maybe to say this and that… (laughter).

“So I really thought ‘what was the problem of the transfer committee?’, and I just had to understand the word. We just sit a few smart people together and talk about transfers, can we do it or can we not do it, one says ‘the money is too much’, the other says ‘I have information about his character’ and one says ‘forget all that, I want him because he is so good’.

“That is what I understand was the transfer committee – people who work in the same direction. We have to be more economical (than other teams) because there are no endless resources. That is how it is and that is fine as well.”

Klopp added: “Players we wanted but didn’t always get (were) for different reasons. Sometimes money was the reason and then we thought we don’t want to do that, not that we cannot do it, not that it was too much.

“The main thing you do to make a transfer is you think so much about it – will the player fit, will they help us, can we help the player to make the next step and will the player help us to take the next step? That is the main thing you have to sort, sometimes it doesn’t work out and sometimes it does work out and then the player can have an impact. That is what we tried to do and will continue to try to do.”

Liverpool can move back to the Premier League summit with a positive result at St James’ Park to put pressure on leaders Manchester City, who are at relegation-threatened Leeds United in the day’s late kick-off.

Klopp is expected to make changes, with Joel Matip, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita among those pressing for a recall. Kostas Tsimikas is back available after illness but Curtis Jones remains a doubt and Roberto Firmino is still out.


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