Football

Klopp eyes 'icing on the cake'

D-Day for EPL's top-four contenders and title hopefuls in La Liga and Serie A

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has money to spend in this summer's transfer market and believes Champions League football will be the "icing on the cake" for prospective targets.

However, he believes the historical "power and size" of the club has been enhanced by the success of this campaign and the vibe he has got from enquiries already made for potential signings is more positive than this time last year.

Nevertheless, securing a top-four finish is imperative on the final weekend of the season if that bubble is not to be burst.

Fourth-placed Liverpool are a point ahead of Arsenal heading into their last game against Middlesbrough and, as long as they match the Gunners' result against Everton, the Reds will play in Europe's elite competition for only the second time in the last eight years.

"The Champions League, for different reasons, is a wonderful competition," said Klopp yesterday.

"You can earn a lot of money there, that's money we didn't have last year - but we are already in a good position.

"We are a club without financial problems and we have money to spend, but it makes sense to think before we spend and that is what we are doing."

A win over Middlesbrough will guarantee Champions League football and that could be the final convincing factor when it comes down to a player deciding whether to join Klopp at Anfield.

"The Champions League would be the icing on the cake but that's it," he added.

"It should not sound negative but, if Champions League is the only reason why a player is coming, it makes no sense for him or for us because one year of not qualifying and the player decides (he) wants another Champions League club.

REINFORCEMENT

"We will be successful in the future but, for this, we need the players. We have very good players and we need a few more."

Arsenal go into the final round in fifth, needing to beat Everton at home and hope either Liverpool or Manchester City slip up to allow them to gatecrash the Champions League places.

After that, Arsene Wenger will prepare his players for a third FA Cup final in five years when they take on Chelsea at Wembley on May 27.

The Frenchman has been batting away questions over his future for the last few months, but confirmed a meeting held in the days following the final - where he will be looking to win a record eighth FA Cup - will be when his future is discussed.

Asked when the board meeting is scheduled for, Wenger replied: "I think it is after the FA Cup final."

When pushed on whether that is when a decision on his future will be finalised, he said: "Yes. You certainly have to know that there are many aspects of a football club which have to be discussed at a board meeting.

"One of them is, of course, what is happening with the manager, the future, the players who have to come in, the renewal of contracts."

City go to Watford knowing a point will secure them a top-four place, while a win will seal third spot and avoid a potentially tricky Champions League qualifier.

Captain Vincent Kompany insists City will be the team to beat next season, despite ending this campaign empty-handed.

"I think we've got a manager who has come in with a very specific vision of how he wants the game to be played," said Kompany. - WIRE SERVICES


FIXTURES

  • Tomorrow: Arsenal v Everton, Burnley v West Ham, Chelsea v Sunderland, Hull City v Tottenham, Leicester City v Bournemouth, Liverpool v Middlesbrough, Man United v Crystal Palace, Southampton v Stoke City, Swansea v West Brom, Watford v Man City.

 

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