Football

Klopp urges patience from fans as club chase top targets

Liverpool boss holding out for top target Keita as he pleads for fans' patience

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is determined to sign his top targets ahead of the new season, saying he has 100 per cent backing from the club owners in a complicated transfer window but urged fans to be patient.

The Merseyside club have already recruited winger Mohamed Salah from AS Roma and striker Dominic Solanke, whose contract expired at Chelsea.

British media have reported that Klopp is interested in signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita but a £57 million (S$102m) offer was rejected by the Bundesliga side.

"We pretty much have all you need. But at the end it is still business," said Klopp, who is with the Reds for the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong, where they will face Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Leicester City and West Brom are the other two teams taking part in the pre-season tourney.

"You go out and see the car that you have been dreaming about your whole life... you say, 'Here is the money', but they say to you, 'I don't want to sell the car'.

"You say, 'But I have got the money', but they say, 'I don't want to sell'.

"They say, 'Go for another car in another colour', but you say, 'That's okay but I want this'. Things like this happen in life, not only football.

"It is not that we are doing something that other clubs are not doing - that we are more silly or they are more smart.

"If I could decide alone, we would be complete from the last day of last season - done, shoot, there's the new team, thank you very much - but that is dreamland.

"I can imagine if you are not involved, it is annoying for fans.

“They say, ‘Go for another car in another colour’, but you say, ‘That’s okay but I want this’.”Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

"They think, 'Oh my God! Nothing happens here! Everything happens there!'. We cannot think like this.

"I would have liked to have everyone here for the first day of training at the latest.

"But that is not possible anymore and probably won't be possible again in the world, especially in England. So why should I moan about it?

"I read in Germany that there are still transfers in the Bundesliga for £5m. You can imagine that happening in England? No chance. Yet it is similar quality.

"You are in a circle and that is how it works here. It's not that we don't want to spend. It is all about doing the right things."

Liverpool were forced to end their pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk after the local media reported that the Saints made a complaint to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach.

The Reds are also closing in on a deal for Hull City and Scottish left back Andrew Robertson.

Despite the frustration of having to negotiate the transfer business, Klopp is keen on adding players that would improve his side ahead of the new season.

When asked if he had the support from the club owners, Klopp replied: "One hundred per cent.

"Ok, I didn't ask if I could buy (Cristiano) Ronaldo or the other guys from Barcelona but I am absolutely fine with this.

"It is not about a number (of players). It is about how it fits together.

"I felt we already had a pretty good side last year, especially when everyone is fit and that gives me a good feeling."

Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva appears to be closing in on a move to Lazio after the Italian club posted a picture of the Brazilian on their official Twitter account.

The Brazilian, who had been the subject of a £5m bid, was pictured holding a Lazio scarf at an airport.

Lucas is Liverpool's current longest-serving player after a decade on Merseyside, but was left out of the squad for a friendly against Wigan last week as he considers his future.

The 30-year-old, who made 19 starts in all competitions last season and 346 for the club in total, had recently entered the final year of his contract. - WIRE SERVICES

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