Any Liverpool fan wondering if reports of Jürgen Klopp’s £70M plus sales budget was true need look no further than confirmation today that the club attempted to spend another £40M on two Bundesliga targets—this after they’d already done the their other major shopping. Add in Ben Chilwell, who the club also tried and failed to sign, and Liverpool easily could have spent another £50M this summer.
Or at least they could have if clubs had been willing to sell for something close to what Liverpool considered a fair valuation, or if the players had been prepared to push for a move. Of course, it’s not the job of another club to stick to the valuation Liverpool has for a target. But the money was there. And the intent was there. For the time being at least, the deals just weren’t meant to be done.
According to James Pearce of The Liverpool Echo, though, it’s not the end for the summer transfer targets that the club missed out on. In particular, it’s not the end for Mahmoud Dahoud or Christian Pulisic. In both cases, the club’s best-connected journalist is certain that the club are intent on returning for them next summer, when both will have just one year remaining on their current contracts.
That Liverpool weren’t willing to pay well over the odds in either case this summer had as much as anything to do with a lack of European football that meant fewer games to play and so made it less important to add depth. When it comes to next summer, particularly if Liverpool can achieve their goal of making it back into the top four, it seems we already know two of the club’s top transfer targets.
Whether allowing the Bundesliga duo—and also Leicester’s Chilwell—to remain at their current clubs for at least another season rather than bidding more in an effort to pry them away right now was the right decision is a fair question. One we will spend the next ten months learning the answer to.