Reds to attract transfer targets: Klopp

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will be a more attractive proposition to transfer targets this summer and positive talks have already taken place with potential recruits.

The English football club's owner, Fenway Sports Group, will invest heavily in Klopp's squad before next season, regardless of Champions League qualification, although the team are on course for a return to the European elite with five matches to play.

Liverpool can strengthen their grip on a Champions League place by overcoming Crystal Palace at Anfield today.

The Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt and Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita are among those on Klopp's wish list.

Liverpool are likely to face fierce competition for all three but Klopp believes the progress and relative youthfulness of the team make Anfield an easier sell to any target.

"It's a young team, it's a fantastic club," said the German. "It's a good situation where we really can see the progress. So I would say together with Tottenham, the average age of the team is such that there's still a lot to come."

Klopp's side are on a seven-match unbeaten run that includes five wins and has lifted them up to third place in the Premier League.

They are six points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand in the race to reach Europe's elite club competition.

Klopp's team appear to have learnt how to grind out victories, as they demonstrated in last Sunday's 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion.

Such discipline will be required against a Palace side who have beaten Chelsea as well as Arsenal since the beginning of this month.

However, Klopp will have to get his side to do it without Joel Matip and Lucas Leiva, who have been unable to train this week because of muscle problems, while Ragnar Klavan has a minor medial knee ligament injury.

Palace, lying 16th and four points clear of the drop zone, have strengthened their chances of avoiding relegation with five wins and a draw in their last seven league games.

However, they will be without the services of Mamadou Sakho for the trip to Merseyside, with the on-loan centre-back ineligible to face his parent club.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 23, 2017, with the headline 'Reds to attract transfer targets: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe