Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool are unlikely to ‘spend big money’ this summer

• Club focused on contract renewals, not new signings
• Manager wants to develop current title-chasing squad

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool are unlikely to “spend the big money” on signings this summer, with the club investing to consolidate his title-chasing squad instead.

Liverpool were the biggest-spending Premier League club last summer as Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keïta and Xherdan Shaqiri arrived to help close the domestic gap to Manchester City. The club’s financial strategy has altered, however, to focus more on contract renewals rather than signings. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Rhian Brewster have signed new long-term deals since last April that will cost Liverpool £150m-£200m in wage rises over the coming years.

That investment, and the dividends it is returning on the pitch, means Klopp does not expect a repeat of last summer’s spending.

“I don’t want to talk exactly what we will do but I don’t think this is a team at the moment where we have to spend the big money or whatever,” the Liverpool manager said. “The best way to do it is bring together a group of players, try to develop them altogether and then stay together for a while. And that was maybe the main problem of Liverpool for the last decade. When they had a good team after a season they went all over the world. That will not happen this year for sure.”

Klopp believes Liverpool’s development took “a big step” with Wednesday’s Champions League victory at Bayern Munich, a result that set up a quarter-final date with Porto who they beat 5-0 on aggregate in last season’s competition. That growth, however, rests on Liverpool’s players recognising how good they are.

“It [Liverpool’s development] is massive,” Klopp said. “I think the steps are really obvious but it is still about a natural confidence. We have to start looking at ourselves how other teams see us. When you think about how Bayern faced us here – I saw Bayern playing a lot in the last years but I never saw them being that defensive-orientated. When Manchester City came here, it was similar. They had a lot of respect for us but I am not sure we always have the same amount of respect for ourselves.

“For sure it will come, step by step, that is why I was so happy for the game at Bayern. There was a little sign at least for that. All the other things, the boys have so much space for improvement in all departments, so many things to come. For the future we have to be lucky that they all stay healthy and we can work with them and use the little time we have in training to bring the group together, so that we don’t have to develop only in games which is modern football. In pre-season if we have three weeks all together that would be great.”

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Klopp also dismissed the idea that his reign will be judged on trophies alone. “You can’t imagine how less I’m interested in that,” he said on Friday. “I never thought about myself in that way. My job is to do everything I can to help the team be as successful as possible. I’m not searching to be remembered in 50 years or whatever. For me it’s no pressure, only opportunity. I love what I do, I think I have a fantastic team out there, and that’s all that I need to be a happy person.

“I respect a lot the desire of all the people and the players, and I can be really part of that, I can be part of that dream. But it’s not for me at the end, it’s for the people. I am not interested in who judges me. God judges me one day and that is the only thing I am interested in. What other people say about me I couldn’t be less interested.”


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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