Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that Liverpool’s summer recruitment strategy is not contingent on whether they secure the final Champions League spot ahead of Manchester United.
Liverpool have shown interest in acquiring Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton, and Bayern Munich’s rising star Ryan Gravenberch as Klopp aims to restructure his midfield ahead of the forthcoming season.
Klopp remains optimistic that the club’s top prospects will not be deterred from a move to Anfield even if it means playing in the Europa League for a season.
“Champions League football is the only thing we can’t promise this year,” Klopp remarked.
“However, everything else remains as it was. This is an incredible football club with a highly competent team, and hopefully, an even better one next season. That’s the crux of it. We are still a highly attractive destination for a multitude of players, and that’s something we shouldn’t overlook. That’s why I’m not worried about it.”
Klopp admitted that attracting high-profile targets can be more challenging without the lure of Champions League football but suggested that a long-term absence from the competition is more damaging than a one-season hiatus.
“Everything becomes more challenging without the Champions League,” he stated.
“That’s the reality, particularly over the long term, so we shouldn’t let this become a habit. However, from the perspective of conversation and persuasion, our current situation is perfectly fine.”
“When I converse with a player, if I’m permitted to – which is seldom – you can see in their eyes that they understand the situation. We can’t guarantee anyone that we’ll be in the Champions League next season. So, if we’re having a discussion, they’re already aware of this.”
“In general, when you join a club, you’re aiming to achieve something with the club rather than waiting for the club to achieve something first. It’s evident that we need to strive for Champions League participation and battle for trophies. If you want to be part of that journey, you’re more than welcome.”
To surpass United, Liverpool must win their remaining three matches and hope United slips up in at least two of their final four games.
For the past few months, Klopp has been operating under the assumption that Liverpool will not qualify for the premier competition, but his recent tactical adjustments have resulted in six consecutive wins.
His team faces Leicester City on Monday, hoping to build on their recent upturn in form, particularly away from Anfield.
“Despite some really poor performances, we never got a handle on the game, resulting in our less than stellar away record,” Klopp admitted.
“We’ve had a dismal season. I believe everyone would agree, and yet we’ve amassed 62 points. It’s a strange scenario, but it highlights the quality still inherent in the squad, and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to demonstrate that somewhat. The focus isn’t on the end result.
“I completely understand that everyone wants to qualify for the Champions League – I share that aspiration. However, given the situation we’ve created, it’s unlikely. But I’m pleased that we’ve shown we can still achieve special things. Winning six games on the trot is special.
“This part of the season has reminded us that we’re still relevant. Not everything about us and our surroundings is negative. We’ve had a disappointing season, but we’ll see what we can salvage from it.”
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