In ten days the January transfer window will open. For Liverpool and the club’s fans, that means a few things that aren’t so great. One is that Emre Can will be free to sign a pre-contract with another club, which most now fully expect him to do. And two is that talk of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona will get even louder.
In slightly better news, though, it will also mean Liverpool will be able to make signings should they so choose, and after failing to land a couple of their big summer targets many expect them to do just that. If that’s the plan, though, Jürgen Klopp isn’t about to give it away just yet. Not that that should come as a surprise.
“Our record has an influence, but I am not sure which way so you will have to wait and see,” was the manager’s coy response when asked if Liverpool would be making any signings next month—and, in particular, if the fans should expect a new defender to arrive at the club when the mid-season transfer window opens.
A new defender—a new centre half—may arrive, but if one does, the important point from Klopp’s point of view is that it won’t be a reactionary move. A signing won’t happen because of a recent bad performance or a dip in form, it will only come because it aligns with the manager’s long-term plans for the club.
“I love the game but I don’t think the solution always is sign new players,” Klopp added. “So if we defend well I’m happy and if we defend poorly I’m not, but the solution isn’t to sign or not sign a player because of that. I am a supporter but also I cannot be a supporter in this way—I cannot change my mind like that.”
As clear as mud, then. Not that any Liverpool fan will have been expecting the manager to come out to state, categorically, that signing X, Y, or Z would or would not be made. The only thing that is clear that if a player does arrive, it will be part of Klopp’s long-term plans and not a short-term solution.