Liverpool deny Klopp January reinforcements as they state their ‘absolute priority’

Joe Williams
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp watches his side

Jurgen Klopp will not get any money to spend on deadline day as Liverpool turn their attention to the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The Reds have been relatively quiet in the January transfer market with Cody Gakpo joining on January 1 after his move was confirmed on Boxing Day.

But there has been very little activity apart from that at Liverpool and there will be no signings before the window shuts on Tuesday night.

Asked after their 2-1 defeat to Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup if Liverpool will make any signings before the deadline, Klopp said: “No, nothing will happen in this transfer window.”

And he doesn’t appear to be bluffing with the Daily Mail reporting that Liverpool ‘do not plan to bolster Jurgen Klopp’s squad before the close of the January transfer window’.

Instead, they will concentrate ‘all efforts’ on negotiations to bring Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham to Anfield in the summer market.

Liverpool, who sit ninth in the league, are currently ten points off fourth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League table with leaders Arsenal a further 11 points clear.

And many fans and pundits reckon they need to strengthen their midfield now if they want to qualify for the Champions League next season.

But the Daily Mail add: ‘Despite the need for change now, Liverpool’s pursuit of Bellingham in the summer remains the absolute priority, and the Anfield chiefs believe no midfielder available this month sizes up to the 19-year-old in terms of quality. ‘

Emmanuel Petit agrees about midfield being a problem for Liverpool “to a certain extent” but the former Arsenal midfielder reckons the loss of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich has been played down too much.

Petit told ICE 36: “I’ve heard many people say that Liverpool’s midfield has struggled this season, and I agree with that to a certain extent. Liverpool have played with such power and energy for five years – they’ve been tremendous – but some players look tired on the pitch and are not delivering the same levels as we’ve seen them before, but I think the main reason Liverpool are not the same is Mane.

“Since Mane left, Liverpool are not playing the same way. Mane was such an important link between Liverpool’s midfield and attack. He played with so much energy on the pitch. He was decisive and always contributed with goals and assists. He led the Liverpool press and scared defenders when they had the ball. He set the tempo of the team and everyone else followed, Salah did the same job.

“There was a big rivalry between Salah and Mane and they pushed each other, which helped the team. They used to play with a coordinated press, but that isn’t happening anymore. You could say they look tired, but they shouldn’t have let Mane leave and should have tried to do everything to keep him. They miss his mentality, leadership and of course his ability on the pitch. They have spent so much money on two different types of players up-front in Darwin and Gapko, but for me there is a gap in quality between these two and Mane – he hasn’t been replaced.

“Some other players at Liverpool are also not performing at the level we’re used to seeing them. They are not doing the same things they used to do, the things that made the team so good.

“Liverpool used to have one of the scariest defences in the Premier League, but I don’t recognise them anymore. Van Dijk, even Alisson, I don’t recognise them. Everyone has said a lot of critical things about Trent Alexander-Arnold and, it is a pity to see his defensive performances.”

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