By Matt Farr
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that the club has already begun its pursuit of several of their top summer transfer targets.
Klopp chose to ride out the transfer window last month without putting his hands into his pockets, but a recent lack of form has given the Anfield chief cause for concern.
Since the new year, Liverpool have won just two of their 11 matches in all competitions – an FA Cup replay win over Plymouth and a win over rivals Tottenham in the league.
Defeats to Hull, Swansea and Wolves proved to Klopp that he needs to add further strength in depth to his ranks in Merseyside, and he has already set about pursuing his summer transfer targets.
He wants to ensure that he has a squad capable of challenging on all fronts next season – including Europe – but admitted to the Liverpool Echo that the extent of the club’s business would depend on their Champions League qualification.
He said: “We are in talks with different people – players, agents, all that stuff. Not a lot of decisions have been already made at this point. Why should they at this stage?
“But we are on the way. At the end I’m sure we will have a really good squad.
“We have a long-term plan but a few things will change because you always have to react to situations. Of course if we are in the Champions League then it would have an influence [on attracting big players].”
The Echo reports that 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt is one of Klopp’s top transfer targets.
Brandt has already broken into the Germany team, winning four caps last year.
Liverpool are currently fifth in the Premier League, one point behind Arsenal, which leaves them just outside of Champions League qualification.
However, the target between now and the remainder of the season will be to earn their place back in the top-four, and ensure they qualify for Europe’s premier competition for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.
Football Insider verdict
This could be looked at in two ways. First of all, it may be considered a fantastic opportunity for Liverpool to get the jump on their rivals by snapping up their targets before anyone else. However, it could also be argued that is comes one month too late. Liverpool had a real chance of catching Chelsea in the Premier League title race this season, and had they done the necessary business and strengthened in their problem areas in January, they could have pulled it off. However, failing to do so has had a drastic effect on Liverpool’s form and title challenge, and now they look to be out of the race. There won’t be wholesale changes, but changes will be made nonetheless – including both outgoings and incomings.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the Reds plan to raid their Premier League rivals for the signature of this £8million-rated wonderkid.