Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s ability to attract the world’s best players has never been higher – but fears a move for Kylian Mbappe is beyond their means.
It has taken time for Liverpool to be viewed as major players in the transfer market and Klopp arrived at a club that had become synonymous with selling top talents, with Raheem Sterling having been sold to Manchester City for £50million four months before he arrived in 2015.
The league leaders, however, have undergone such a transformation under Klopp’s watch that they can now shop at the top end of the market and Liverpool’s manager says high quality is now the only thing that will be considered in future targets.
Mbappe, a World Cup winner and global superstar, is a striker Klopp would love the opportunity to work with one day and he made enquiries about the France international’s availability when he left Monaco in 2017.
Real Madrid are also interested in the Paris Saint-Germain striker but reports in Spain on Thursday indicated that Zinedine Zidane is concerned that Mbappe would prefer to move to Liverpool rather than La Liga.
Jadon Sancho, the England international who is thriving at Borussia Dortmund, is another who will be on Liverpool’s radar next summer. Klopp admitted in May that he they considered signing him when he left City but the deal was impossible to do.
When asked about Mbappe, Klopp said: ‘(Buying) this calibre of player is difficult. I don’t see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG. I don’t see any club, that is how it is. We are involved in the clubs that cannot do it – it is as easy as that.
‘OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him – what a player he is! It is about the money, of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance.’
Klopp added: ‘The club is in a very good position. Image-wise, it maybe (always) was but now I think it is easier to live the life of a Liverpool supporter and that means automatically being in a situation to sign the players you want to sign.’
Liverpool’s reputation has been transformed by reaching the last two Champions League finals and emerging as the team most likely to end City’s Premier League dominance and Klopp, whose side will be at full strength tomorrow, recognises it is easier to sell his project then before.
‘I don’t think we have to compare with Man City,’ said Klopp, who reminded his supporters of their duty to behave appropriately after City raised concerns about their bus being attacked in a similar way to before the Champions League quarter-final in April 2018.
‘I have no idea which kind of player wants to go to Man City – but good players obviously did it in the last couple of years. There is no doubt about that. But there are reasons – good reasons – why players want to join us. That is clear.
‘City had a very successful spell though, in the last 10 years or so they have been champions a couple of times. So it is different tastes will lead to different decisions. I don’t think we struggle with convincing players. When you speak to a player you can feel it.
‘This year, last year, even three years ago, you can see in their eyes. I am not sure if honour is the right word, but you can see that it is good that we speak to them. We are in a really good position. Unfortunately it does not lead automatically to a situation where you win all the football games.’