Jurgen Klopp is assured in his ability to attract world-class talent to Liverpool despite the almost certain lack of Champions League football next season.
Klopp is set for a busy off-season as he looks to transform his squad into one suiting his vision, having taken over from Brendan Rodgers in October.
The German manager did not sanction any significant moves during the January transfer window, but will almost certainly oversee an Anfield clear out as he looks to up the calibre of players available to him next season.
“Obviously, not 100 per cent, but maybe 80 per cent we are not in the Champions League next year so if I would speak to a player now and he says, ‘if you were playing in the Champions League next year I would be really interested’, I would put the phone down from my side,” said Klopp.
“I always tell players if when you are 35 or 36 and look back on your career and you think about the one year you didn’t play Champions League then you are really a poor boy.
“It is pushing the train, not jumping on the running train. That is what we need here. If somebody says ‘you don’t play Champions League next year’ then goodbye and thank you, have fun next year wherever you will be.
“We will find players or we have players already that will go our way. That is not my way, that is the normal way for a club not playing in the Champions League.”
Mario Gotze is one name in particular continuously linked with Anfield.
The Germany World Cup winner has not enjoyed the best season at Bayern Munich and has a good relationship with Klopp having worked with him at Borussia Dortmund.
While the Liverpool manager would not be drawn on speculating on the likelihood of signing Gotze, he said it was hard to lose him to Bayern while at Dortmund.
“It is easy to know I like Mario Gotze. It was not the best day in my life when I heard he was going to Bayern Munich,” Klopp said.
“I have known him since he was 16. That is a long trip but he is still a young player. I know him better than other players, that is right. That is the only difference to all the other players around.
“I would never say anything about a transfer, whether we are interested or not. It is not important. I speak to you about transfers when they are done and not before.
“It is all rumours, speculation and I have nothing to say about things like this. We can talk two hours about Mario Gotze but it would not change a per cent whether he comes here or goes wherever.”
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