Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Klopp: Liverpool do not need another centre-back

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Aug 2017

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists his side do not need to sign a new centre-back, despite continuing to be linked with a swoop for Virgil van Dijk.

The Southampton defender appeared close to joining Liverpool in June until the Reds apologised and ended their interest in the Dutchman following a Southampton complaint to the Premier League alleging an illegal approach.

Liverpool are yet to bolster the middle of their back line in the transfer window but Klopp insists he is happy with his quartet of options in Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez, while the wait for a development over Van Dijk goes on.

Speaking after the 3-1 friendly win over Athletic Bilbao in Dublin, Klopp said: “We have four centre-backs. I don’t think we need more. 

“Just at the moment I’m fine. The transfer market is open until August 31. We cannot force the things and we would never get a centre-back just because [of the sake of it].

“Look out there and tell me five that would make us stronger. Five. Then you win a prize. It is difficult how it is.

“I’m happy. You can imagine we are still working on different things and we will see if it works. I am already here to work with this squad and not just always thinking, ‘But if we don’t get this or this’.”

Liverpool have made three signings – Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Dominic Solanke – but Klopp wants more focus on some of his players who have impressed during preparations for the new season than speculation over who is coming in next.

“I’m really fine with pre-season so far,” he said.

“What I said is the truth. There is all this talking about signings and then you see Alberto Moreno – what a pre-season. You saw it. He has matured 100 per cent.

“Ryan Kent looked unbelievable, Dom Solanke – yes maybe a few guys expected that, maybe not. That’s cool and I cannot ignore it.”

Liverpool open their Premier League campaign away to Watford on Saturday, before the away leg of their Champions League play-off tie against Hoffenheim on August 15.

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