Jurgen Klopp has jokingly described Chelsea as taking a “positive outlook” on the unclear financial landscape in football, as their heavy summer spending rolls on.
Chelsea completed the signing of Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell on Wednesday evening, with the 23-year-old moving to Stamford Bridge for £50 million.
The west London side have already brought in Hakim Ziyech for £37m and Timo Werner for £47.5m, while they are also expected to sign Kai Havertz in a deal worth £90m and seal free transfers for Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr.
Silva will command a significant signing-on fee along with high wages, and though former Nice centre-back Sarr will be significantly cheaper, that may not be the spending done for Chelsea, with a new goalkeeper also in the sights.
While there are question marks over Frank Lampard’s ability to hit the ground running with an influx of high-profile players, this transfer window could push the Blues firmly into title contention.
Liverpool should still be considered front-runners, as reigning champions of the Premier League, but their cautious approach is a stark contrast to that of their rivals—including Man City, who are now linked with a move for Lionel Messi.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago is still expected as a marquee signing on Merseyside, but Klopp has preached common sense when it comes to the market.
Speaking to Austrian broadcaster Servus TV, the manager stressed that “nobody knows” how their finances will be affected, but pointed to Chelsea as having a more “positive outlook.”
“There are a lot of interesting players out there but if someone is interesting for us I can’t say right now,” he said when asked about a move for Thiago.
“Due to COVID-19, you have to think five times about what you can and what you can’t do.
“We always have to pay attention to the financial aspect. We don’t know how much money will come in.
“Nobody knows but it seems like some other teams have a more positive outlook on the future…if you look at Chelsea for example!
“But I am very happy with my team right now. If something transfer related will happen we have to see.”
This is certainly in line with reports on Thursday morning that Liverpool are playing a “waiting game” with regards their pursuit of Thiago, with possible sales of the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Grujic impacting their progress.
But the emergence of Chelsea as a strong contender for the title could and should highlight the need to reinforce this summer, albeit with the Reds only requiring minor alterations to strengthen.
Fenway Sports Group are unable to fund the club in the way Roman Abramovich is at Chelsea or Sheikh Mansour at Man City, and instead, they must assess the market more wisely.
That appears to mean more patience is needed, as a realistic approach cannot finance this “positive outlook” at this stage.