Jurgen Klopp may have given away Liverpool transfer plans as gauntlet laid down to players

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hinted that it might be a quiet transfer window for the Reds, despite the German wanting to strengthen his squad to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title. 

The 2019-20 top-flight champions fell well short in their defence of that league victory last term, with a devastating injury crisis and a huge mid-season drop in form derailing their campaign.  

Klopp’s side eventually finished third following a 10-match unbeaten run to end the season, even though the 54-year-old ruled out Champions League qualification as late as March.  

Several key players missed long periods of the year through injury. Virgil van Dijk had his season ended prematurely in October while Jordan Henderson missed the final three months. 

Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also all scarcely seen. 

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Liverpool have signed defender Ibrahima Konate after triggering the £36million release clause in the defender’s RB Leipzig contract. 

They have also been linked with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, with Klopp keen to replace the departed Gini Wijnaldum. 

However, the Liverpool boss is keen to allow the club’s academy players the chance to step up to first-team training and prove their worth in pre-season while the club’s international stars take breaks following Euro 2020 and the Copa America.  

“I don’t know [about signings]. With a few of the younger ones, maybe we have to think about going out on loan, stuff like this, is it the right moment? There’s no final decision yet,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official site.

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“These first few days, it’s not the time to think about that because that’s the moment when they all can show up.  

“I prefer to get positively surprised of some of the boys where I think: ‘Oh my God, I didn’t expect him being that close already.’ 

“We have so [much] movement in the squad if you want, there’s so many players who could step up – for different reasons, the last season was maybe not theirs but that doesn’t mean from now on it will always go backwards. 

“No, there’s a chance to make the right steps in the right direction. They were close to the first team but didn’t play often enough. So, the door is open. 

“A lot of midfielders not here, so [I tell them:] ‘come on, take the chance and play the best football you are able to do’, and then we immediately get options – it’s always like having new signings. 

“I’m really not in a rush about that. If somebody wants to leave, he can come to me and can tell me and then I think about it. Nobody came so far, so obviously no rush from the players’ side as well. 

“The market anyway is a really calm one in the moment, I think. There was [Jadon] Sancho and maybe somebody else, okay, Konate we did that early, but it’s a really calm window.  

“Let’s see what happens and all of these things, but in the moment, everybody has the chance to impress me and I hope they do.”

It is a similar tone to the one taken by Klopp at the end of last season.  

The German felt that his squad could be improved but was unsure if there would be many new signings.  

“Yes, I’m very happy with my squad. Very, very happy,” the 53-year-old said after a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on the final day secured Champions League football for next season.  

“Could this squad improve? Yes, like each squad could. 

“Is that affordable? I don’t know. Is it necessary? I don’t know. Whatever happens, we will see.”
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