Jurgen Klopp insists his 2016 comments criticising the eagerness to splash the cash in modern football are still true despite his own lavish spending in recent times at Liverpool.
When Manchester United signed Paul Pogba in 2016, Klopp was critical and adamant he would “even do it differently if I could spend that money”.
But since then, Liverpool have made Virgil van Dijk and Alisson the most expensive defender and goalkeeper of all time, while the club have also spent more than £40million each on Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Fabinho.
And following the signing of Alisson on Thursday, Klopp’s 2016 quotes resurfaced and were put to him in a news conference, drawing a fiery response.
“That’s a problem, whatever b******t you say, no one will forget it,” Klopp told reporters on Saturday.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 21, 2018
“It’s still kind of true. I couldn’t have imagined the world could have changed. £100m [for Pogba] was a crazy number, but since then the world changed.
“We signed the most expensive goalkeeper, there will be a few nice transfers [made by other clubs]. It’s not about pushing through my thoughts on that and not paying big money, if Liverpool aren’t successful we have to work.
“To improve a squad like this costs money. So far it’s a really good year for us, pretty successful last year.
“Still we need to replace players – Emre Can left, good business bringing Fabinho in. [Xherdan] Shaqiri, we saw him play in the World Cup. I know Stoke were relegated, but he had a lot of good games.
“We don’t care what the world think, like Manchester United didn’t care what I thought.”
Roma icon Francesco Totti conceded the Italian club had to sell Alisson to Liverpool as they could not turn down the world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
Brazil international star Alisson joined Premier League side Liverpool in a deal that could earn Roma up to €72.5million.
Alisson played a key role as Roma finished third in Serie A and reached the Champions League semi-final last season.
Former attacker Totti, however, admitted Roma could not say no to the money on offer despite Alisson’s quality.
“We’re building a young team for the future,” Totti told Sky Sport Italia.
“We’ll try to strengthen as soon as possible, so that Roma can compete at the top.
“Alisson? The market figures have changed, €75m for a goalkeeper happened for the first time and we couldn’t say ‘no’.
“I’m sorry that we’ve lost one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but we’ll try to build a strong team regardless.”
America, here we come!
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 20, 2018
Alisson is not in Liverpool’s squad for their International Champions Cup campaign in the United States following his World Cup commitments with Brazil.
Persuading Kylian Mbappe to leave French champions Paris Saint-Germain and join Liverpool is on the agenda for Reds recruit Fabinho.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho swapped Ligue 1 outfit Monaco for Liverpool in a deal reportedly worth €50million in the close-season.
Now Fabinho wants former Monaco team-mate and World Cup winner Mbappe – who has committed his future to PSG amid links with Real Madrid – to join him at Anfield.
Mbappe took Russia 2018 by storm, the 19-year-old sensation scoring four goals to claim the best young player of the tournament.
“He [Mbappe] has already said this season he will remain at PSG, but I will try slowly to convince him to come over,” Fabinho said.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 19, 2018
Fabinho and Mbappe played together in 2016-17 as Monaco upstaged PSG to win Ligue 1.
Mbappe departed Monaco last season and spent the campaign on loan at PSG, where he won the domestic treble.
With both players now plying their trades away from Monaco, Fabinho revealed he was congratulated by Mbappe following his move to Merseyside.
“Kylian Mbappe sent me a text message congratulating me for coming to Liverpool. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to congratulate him for what he did during this World Cup,” said Fabinho.
“What France did was fantastic. What Mbappe did in two years of professional football is amazing. He is a phenomenon and needs to be congratulated, and as soon as I have the chance I will.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes his team are on track for a Premier League title challenge after their highly rated additions.
Klopp has already strengthened his squad with the signings of Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, while Roma goalkeeper Alisson is reportedly close to making a move to Anfield.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have re-signed with the club, seeing speculation over their futures – particularly the former’s – ease.
Klopp, whose team open their Premier League campaign against West Ham on August 12, said he was glad to see players being added, rather than leaving.
“I am not 100 per cent sure but maybe it is the first year we don’t sell a key player,” the German told UK newspapers.
“There was always a lot of change, but in both directions. Now it is more in one direction. That is clear. Big teams, successful teams, if you don’t buy it you have to build it.
“That means stay together, bring additions in and make the next step.”
While others may follow, the departure of Emre Can to Juventus, which was largely expected, has been the only major exit for Liverpool.
Klopp said his squad understood additions were needed to create more depth, as they come off a campaign in which they finished fourth in the league.
“The team and squad is in a really good moment,” he said.
“We had the situation last season where we had 12 [first-team] players [fit]. They know we need the depth in the squad. They know it. It is not like they say, ‘Bring in another midfielder? Why? We are all still here’.
“But they know we need the quality and they know that if we win something here then we will win it with 25 players. That is exactly how we feel.”
Egyptian champions Al Ahly got their CAF Champions League campaign up and running with a 3-0 win over Township Rollers but ES Tunis remained in charge of Group A in dramatic circumstances.
Hossam El Badry’s side welcomed back their Egypt internationals from a disappointing World Cup campaign however claimed a first win of the round-robin stage at the third time of asking thanks to goals from Walid Azarou and substitute Islam Mohareb either side of a 73rd-minute penalty from Tunisia defender Ali Maaloul.
ES Tunis were stunned to find themselves 2-0 down midway through the first half at home to KCCA.
Jackson Nunda opened the scoring after 19 minutes for the Ugandan side before Khalil Chemmam put through his own goal.
Goals in quick succession either side of the half-hour mark from Anice Badri and Saad Bguir restored parity, leaving Bilel Mejri to score a late winner and move ES Tunis on to seven points, three clear of Al Ahly.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) July 17, 2018
MC Alger made TP Mazembe work to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group B but Elia Meschak struck two minutes from time for the five-time African champions.
ES Setif saw off Difaa El Jadida 2-1 – Houssam Ghacha the supplier of a late twist in that game – in the section’s other encounter, with TP Mazembe five points clear of their matchday three opponents at the summit.
Horoya and Wydad Casablanca remain locked together on five points in the qualification places in Group C after their match finished 1-1.
The reigning champions from Morocco led through Ismail El Haddad but their Guinean hosts hit back thanks to Ocansey Mandela.
Mamelodi Sundowns occupy bottom spot and remain winless after Abel Hunlede sprung the offside trap to score the only goal for Togo Port, securing a 1-0 win six minutes before half-time.
Etoile du Sahel opened up a lead in Group D after storming to a 3-0 win at Mbabane Swallows, while Zesco United and Primeiro de Agosto shared a goalless draw in Zambia.
Villarreal have secured the signing of highly rated Argentine midfielder Santiago Caseres from Velez Sarsfield on a five-year deal.
The Yellow Submarine have been on the hunt for a defensive midfielder following the departure of Rodri to Atletico Madrid and Caseres, 21, is the man selected to fill the void.
Caseres remains inexperienced after only breaking into Velez’s first team in 2017, but in that time he has reportedly drawn admiring glances from numerous European clubs, with Atletico said to have been one of them.
This season he has become a crucial part of Gabriel Heinze’s side and is said to have collected Velez somewhere in the region of €10million.
#Villarreal have come to a transfer agreement with @Velez for @santycaseres5 , who will play for the Yellows for the next five seasons. Pure talent and Argentinean spirit for the midfield. Welcome, Santiago! https://t.co/E9kbOdyQBr
— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) July 16, 2018