Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched a staunch defence of the club’s transfer policy in the wake of their top-four rivals each spending upwards of £75million (€88 million) this summer.
Premier League champions Manchester City – who are interested in the £150m-rated Tottenham striker Harry Kane – lead the way with the British record fee of £100m on Jack Grealish.
But Chelsea have just splashed £97.5m on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to the club and Manchester United spent £75m on Borussia Dortmund’s young England winger Jadon Sancho.
By contrast Liverpool have spent just £36m in May on RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate to plug an obvious lack of depth at centre-back but are not expected to replace departed midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
Klopp is not surprised by their rivals’ spending but insists Liverpool have to operate differently.
“We cannot spend money we don’t have. We cannot, the others can but we can’t. That’s my information,” he said ahead of the season-opener at Norwich.
“Chelsea are not hiding their ambitions, Man United isn’t, City isn’t. We don’t want to hide our ambitions because we want to fight for everything and in this moment it will be a massive fight.
“When the pandemic started and no-one knew how long it would be it was a difficult time for everyone, for football clubs as well. That is probably the reason why you ask me now if I’m surprised (about the spending).
“These clubs don’t depend on these kind of things I think. We all know the situation of Chelsea, the situation of City, and we all know the situation of PSG (Paris St Germain), for example. What United is doing I don’t know exactly how they do it. We have, obviously, our way to do it.
“I’m never surprised about the financial power of Chelsea, City or United. I am long enough in the country to know they always find a solution to do these kind of things.
“You cannot compare to the other clubs, they obviously don’t have any limits but we have limits and we were quite successful given the limits in the last two years.
“That is what we should try again and not use it as an excuse that if we do not win a game we say it was because we didn’t sign him or him. That will not be the case.”
Part of the reason Liverpool have not spent more this summer is because they have used their limited finances to secure the long-term futures of key players.
Virgil Van Dijk on Friday agreed a new deal until 2025, following the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Alisson Becker in signing new contracts.
The club will also look to tie down Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson to longer-term deals as they focus on keeping together the nucleus of the side which won back-to-back Champions League and Premier League titles.
“For us it is our way. We keep the team together, that is an important part of business as well,” he added.
“I know it is not as exciting for the outside world as with signing players and it looks the summer is always the same in that if you don’t sign you don’t work but that’s not the case.
“We are constantly thinking about the present and the future, short term and long term what do we have to do? How do we want the team to look this year, how will it look next year?
“Maybe not the most exciting but if you are a real Liverpool fan you are really happy about the news the club delivered in the last few weeks, signing Alisson Becker, the same with Trent, Fabinho and Virgil – and others will follow.
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“That’s absolutely great news but it’s just not spectacular out there. But if other teams wanted to sign these players they would pay a lot of money and we have them already.
“We have a really good squad together, it should be a better situation than last year so let’s try to build on what we achieved last year and see where we end up.”
Klopp said Van Dijk’s new contract was a perfect example.
“Imagine if we would have had to buy this boy now – thank God we only had to give him a new contract,” he said.