Jurgen Klopp lifts lid on 'difficult' Liverpool transfer plans with warning to Man Utd

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool will be able to compete with the likes of Manchester United to sign top players in the upcoming summer transfer window, even if they fail to secure Champions League qualification ahead of next season. The Reds will find themselves in a straight fight with their Manchester rivals for a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League over the coming weeks, with United currently ahead by a single point while having the added benefit of a game in hand.

The Reds only have five matches left to play before the season draws to a close, at which point the focus will turn to recruitment before the summer transfer window officially opens for business in mid-June. There is a chance that Liverpool could find it hard to sign their highest-profile targets without being able to guarantee Champions League football in 2023/24, although Klopp is not overly concerned about the possibility of being beaten to deals by the club's divisional rivals over the next few months.

"When I talk to a player, if I'm allowed which is barely the case, you can realise if they are interested," said the German in Friday's press conference.

"We are not 100 per cent in the Champions League next season and they would know that. It's one thing we can't guarantee next year but everything else is the same. It is a fantastic football club. We are still Liverpool and very attractive for a lot of players. I am not concerned about that. Of course it is more difficult without Champions League."

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Even if Liverpool are beaten to a top-four finish in the Premier League by United over the coming weeks, it seems as though the Reds will be looking to press ahead with their recruitment plans in the summer as they look to steer clear of another lacklustre campaign at the next time of asking.

A number of players have been linked with moves to either club ahead of the upcoming window, including the likes of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, although it remains to be seen whether a lack of Champions League football at Anfield will come back to bite the Reds over the next few months in spite of their relaxed approach to potentially missing out on a place in next season's edition of the tournament.

Klopp, meanwhile, was also asked about Liverpool's next match against Leicester City on Monday evening, with the Foxes currently scrapping it out at the wrong end of the Premier League table as they bid to retain their top-flight status for at least another season.

"In my first season here, Leicester won the league, a special story," began Klopp. "Now the story is obviously completely different, they are in a relegation battle. I saw their game against Everton, they had really good spells, really good.

"When you're in a relegation battle, we have to expect a team that wants to stay in the league and will fight for all they have. It will be a real fight and we have to be ready for that. They need all the points they can get. I expect a super difficult game."

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