Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: Clubs can collect top players... I am trying to build a team, a real team

By Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested Manchester United’s pursuit of Paul Pogba is laced with peril after claiming he would not spend £100m on a single player.

In comments that are bound to stir a reaction from United supporters, Klopp has claimed Jose Mourinho’s summer of big spending is not a guaranteed route to success as he suggested there was an alternative way to build a title winning team.

United are expected to wrap up a world record breaking transfer to Pogba imminently, with a fee slightly below £100m set to see the player who left Old Trafford for nothing four years ago make an expensive return.

Yet Liverpool are going about their business in a different manner and even though Klopp has spent big money to sign Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ragnar Klavan, Loris Karius and Joel Matip this summer, he suggested spending a vast sum on one footballer is a risky plan.

“If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney,” stated Klopp. “The day that this is football, I'm not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.

“That is how everybody in football understands it. You always want to have the best, but building the group is necessary to be successful.

“Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money.

“I don't know exactly how much money we could spend because nobody has told me, 'No, you can't do this'.

“If I spend money, it is because I am trying to build a team, a real team. Barcelona did it. You can win championships, you can win titles, but there is a manner in which you want it.”

Klopp suggested Liverpool were looking to sign players who are not among the most wanted in European football, as he hinted the competition at the top end of the transfer market was too much for his club to compete with.

“If you all swim in the same pool, the pool is too small - you all go for the same players,” he added. “There are a lot of players outside that pool - good players on to the next step in their career. We try to find them.

“The best player of the last season is good to know but it is more interesting trying to find out who will be the best next year. If you knew it now that would be a really cool transfer! It would be much cheaper too. That is what we work for.”

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