Jurgen Klopp has explained why his approach to transfers has shifted since well-publicised comments he made two years ago about Man United‘s vast spending in relation to Paul Pogba.
When United signed Pogba for what was then a record transfer of £89 million two years ago, Klopp said: “Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players, yes. But if you bring one player in for £100 million or whatever, and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney.”
The Reds boss, well known for his development of players at Borussia Dortmund, continued:
“Do I have to do it differently to that? Actually, I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money. I want a special team spirit – I don’t feel it is necessary, I want it.
“The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore. Because the game is about playing together.”
However, having now spent £170 million this summer, including the world record £66 million for a goalkeeper, Klopp was asked about his previous comments when attending a press conference to preview the Reds’ game against Dortmund in America:
“That’s the problem these days, you say something and whatever bullshit you say, nobody will forget it!
“I could not imagine that the world would change like that – two and a half years ago, £100 million was crazy money, since then the world obviously changed since then.
“In this moment we signed the world’s most expensive goalkeeper; there will be a few, nice transfers in this window still. It will happen a lot.
“My responsibility is for this club to be as successful as possible. It is not for me to push through my thoughts about that and say ‘no, I don’t want to pay big money’ (because) in the end if Liverpool FC is not successful it doesn’t work.
“We have a really good team, a really good squad, to improve a squad like this is expensive, because to find better players than we already have; they are not waiting around the corner.
“When we are convinced about it (signing a player), then our ownership believes that much in the project that they say ‘ok, let’s do it.’ And I really think it is a really good year for us; very good squad.
“We don’t care about what the world around is thinking. Like Man United didn’t care what I had to say about it (Pogba).
“It’s only an opinion in that moment. Did I change my opinion? Yes. That’s true. It’s better to change an opinion than to never have one.”
Liverpool have signed four players this summer, spending £170 million, but did sell Philippe Coutinho for £142 million in January.