LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 22, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp gives an interview to LFC.TV after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp on late January signings: “I don’t expect anything to happen”

Jurgen Klopp “doesn’t expect anything to happen” in terms of new signings at Liverpool this month, with the club instead planning to add to the squad in the summer.

The transfer window closes on Monday night and, so far, the Reds are yet to make any additions to the first team, with Derby teenager Kaide Gordon set to become the third arrival at academy level.

Neither have there been any major departures, with Liam Millar and Adam Lewis heading on loan to League One while the likes of Sepp van den Berg, Ben Woodburn and Tony Gallacher could follow them out on temporary moves.

It is a situation largely shared across the Premier League, with Arsenal overseeing perhaps the most high-profile deals so far with the loan signings of Martin Odegaard and Mat Ryan.

Morgan Sanson has joined Aston Villa, Jean-Philippe Mateta has swapped Mainz for Crystal Palace, West Brom have signed Robert Snodgrass and Andy Lonergan, Wolves have loaned Willian Jose, Man United signed Amid Diallo and West Ham have brought in Frederik Alves.

Beyond that, there have been few incomings for the English top flight, with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting activity for both buying and selling clubs – regardless, in Liverpool’s case, of the clear need to reinforce.

It is a question Klopp has been asked countless times in the wake of injury problems for Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, and the answer has largely remained the same.

“Not really, no,” he said on Wednesday when asked if he expects any late arrivals this window.

“I would not say absolutely 100 percent no, but I don’t expect anything to happen, to be honest.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner, Director Michael Gordon and owner John W. Henry before the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against Rubin Kazan at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Among journalists, the narrative of Liverpool’s quiet winter window appears to have changed from a sensible view on financial fragility in a global pandemic to a blinkered criticism of the club’s owners.

Klopp may have inadvertently fuelled this with his admission that “these decisions are not my decisions,” which has always true, with the manager working in tandem with sporting director Michael Edwards and, more importantly in this case, FSG president Mike Gordon.

A lack of clarity over long-term finances, and the long-held belief that transfers are never ideal mid-season, looks to see the Reds planning for moves in the next transfer window instead.

Claims of contact with then-free agent Sokratis earlier this month suggest that Klopp, Edwards and Gordon are open to a short-term fix, easing the burden on the likes of Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips, but even then the options are sparse.

Ezequiel Garay remains the most high-profile centre-back available on a free transfer, with Neven Subotic, Lamine Sane, Reto Ziegler and Raul Albentosa among the more familiar names on the market – but it is doubtful any would be of the quality required.