Jurgen Klopp has admitted he was hoping to add to his Liverpool squad this month, but his priority targets weren’t available mid-season.
The Reds have only won once in January so far, away to Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup third round, having suffered losses to Southampton and Swansea City, and drawn with Sunderland, Argyle and Manchester United.
Defeat to Swansea on Saturday has dented Liverpool’s title hopes severely, and led to calls for Klopp strengthen before their prospects fade entirely.
But speaking after the 3-2 turnover at Anfield, Klopp continued to stress his rational approach to transfers, while acknowledging a disappointment at not being able to obtain the right players.
“I understand it is absolutely normal that people ask whether we should have brought players in,” he told reporters.
“The situation is yes, on the one side pretty simple, but on the other hand it is pretty difficult. It is not that we don’t want to bring players in. We do.
“But the thing is, the players we want because we think they help us, the clubs don’t sell.
“It is not about money in this situation, it is the winter transfer window.
“Clubs are saying ‘No, we have half a year to go, we cannot find another player like this, we prefer to take money in the summer than a few pounds more in the winter than whatever’.
“So it is pretty easy. You see the situation. It’s tight, it’s close, we know that.
“But if the right decision is not possible in signing the right player then you cannot make the wrong transfer.”
Liverpool are still believed to hold an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, despite previous reports to the contrary, but the 21-year-old looks to be rooted in Germany for the winter.
The same can be said of Christian Pulisic, with the American winger establishing himself as a first-team regular at Borussia Dortmund this season, and unlikely to leave before June.
Furthermore, while incoming youth coach Steven Gerrard has called for Liverpool to pursue a move for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, the same situation presents itself, with the Saints already having seen Jose Fonte leave for West Ham United, with Van Dijk taking his captaincy.
“It is not as if there are 20 players out there who could make this team stronger, who are running around and are available,” Klopp continued.
“That is the situation. That is why I say we know the situation, we are prepared to move, but for the right player.
“We are not the only side who can decide the outcome of that, though, are we? The selling club makes the decision too.”
Klopp’s approach is, on one hand, a sensible one, but there remains the argument that there were players available that could immediately enhance the Liverpool squad—particularly in attack.
But with Klopp practising patience, having rarely dipped into the January market in his time as a manager, supporters will likely need to adjust to this and turn their transfer focus to the summer.