Confirmed: Liverpool keep close tabs on £21m duo, Klopp has first refusal
By Will Butcher
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has claimed that he will consider bringing Bournemouth duo Jordan Ibe and Brad Smith back to Anfield in the future.
The two youngsters left Anfield this summer for a combined £21million to the south coast club, with winger Ibe sold for £15million and left-back Smith for £6million.
Talking to the Liverpool Echo, former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp revealed that the Merseysiders inserted clauses to the deals that allows them to have first refusal on re-signing the pair at a set price.
“With Smith and Ibe, we have buy-back clauses,” Klopp said. “Hopefully, they will do really well and then in the end we will decide.
“The goodbyes were okay with both of them. Liverpool is still in their hearts so we will have a chance if they do well.”
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Ibe and Smith were offloaded as Klopp looks to reshape his Liverpool side ahead of a season in which there will be less opportunities for fringe players due to the absence of European football.
England under-21 international Ibe was sold after making 41 appearances for the Reds last term, while Liverpool cashed in on Australian international Smith despite doubts arising over first-choice left-back Alberto Moreno.
However, Klopp declared that their Liverpool futures are far from over, and he will be watching from afar as they look to take Bournemouth forward.
“We will watch them, they will have pressure there,” he said. “They will fight for the league or whatever, and we will see them growing up in pressure situations. That’s perfect.”
Liverpoo begin their Premier League campaign on Sunday, as they travel to North London to face rivals Arsenal.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Christian Benteke’s move to Crystal Palace could in-turn help Merseyside enemies Everton.