Big Match

Reds will not spend big money

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool's development took "a big step" with the midweek Champions League victory at Bayern Munich.
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool's development took "a big step" with the midweek Champions League victory at Bayern Munich.PHOTO: REUTERS

Klopp says Liverpool will focus on contract renewals to keep title-chasing group together

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has said that Liverpool are unlikely to "spend the big money" on signings this summer, with the club investing to consolidate his title-chasing squad instead.

The Reds were the biggest-spending Premier League club last summer as Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri arrived to help close the domestic gap to Manchester City.

The club's financial strategy has since altered, however, to focus more on contract renewals rather than signings.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, 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 £150 million (S$266 million) to £200 million in wage rises over the coming years.

"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 Reds manager said ahead of today's league trip to Fulham.

"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."

He believes Liverpool's development took "a big step" with the midweek Champions League victory at Bayern Munich, a result that set up a quarter-final date with Porto.

The German said: "When you think about how Bayern faced us... I never saw them being that defensive-orientated. They had a lot of respect for us but I am not sure we always have the same amount of respect for ourselves."

Fresh from a momentous European night, his team can earn a psychological boost going into the two-week international break by retaking the EPL top spot from City, who play at Swansea in the FA Cup this weekend. They have 73 points and trail the champions by a point with eight games left.

Fulham have very different priorities as they try to pull off a great escape from relegation.

After sacking two managers already this term, Scott Parker's first two games against Chelsea and Leicester have also ended in defeat.

However, he believes his side can cause a major upset and deliver a blow to Liverpool's title challenge.

"Hopefully we'll have an influence on the title race," he said. "We've got some very good footballers at the club and we need to start getting the best out of them...

"If we play the way we want to play, we can cause an upset and we can get points."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

FULHAM V LIVERPOOL

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Reds will not spend big money'. Print Edition | Subscribe