Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will look to sign players this summer to build on their “really good basis” while admitting his squad is too thin as it stands.
Liverpool are in the thick of a fight for a top-four spot in the Premier League and will need an expanded squad if they are to compete in the Champions League.
And while Klopp said Liverpool will be buyers in the summer transfer window, he’s also looking to get more of the players already at Anfield.
“The plan is to begin with about improvement of the players here, because we always forget these things,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “Is it possible that these players could improve? Yes, it is. And I think that is very important.
“Are we looking for transfers and for players? Yes. Are we close to signing them? No, nothing to say about them. It’s not for us about exactly four players or five players and ‘Oh, thank God you asked.’ There are different challenges, different plans.
“But we know what we want, and we are working really hard to get what we want, as you can imagine.”
Liverpool were left with a surplus of cash last summer after Klopp allowed 13 players to leave the club, and Klopp joked that extra finances won’t satisfy demanding supporters, saying: “Our transfer balance was positive, but that’s negative, eh?”
But Klopp also said that the decision not to expand the quad this summer was not handed down from the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group for the sheer purpose of keeping the ledgers in the black.
“We didn’t make the transfers last summer in order to have a positive transfer record,” he said. “Not at all.
“The squad is fluid. Players come in, players go out. We have created a market by ourselves if you want, bringing in a few young players. They have not perhaps played as much as they would like but they could move on now and we have a market for that.
“I think we are in a situation where we have a good basis to improve. Of course we will spend money this summer, and probably we will earn money too.
“But you can’t see then at the end of the window that we are £20 million plus, and think ‘Oh, we need to buy somebody of clout,’ it doesn’t work like this.”
But despite a seeming unwillingness to spend, Klopp said a number of unforeseen issues left his options a little too limited for his liking.
“This season we have had the issue of whether the squad is big enough or not,” he said. “If you look back now, it looks like it was not.
“But at the start of the season, Danny Ings was involved in our plans and so was Daniel Sturridge. So if you have those two competing for the No.9 position, plus Ingsy could play wide as he has in the past, then Roberto [Firmino] is free for the wing for example.
“But the injury of Ingsy, and Daniel with a few problems, then Phil [Coutinho] was injured and yes, it was like this. We didn’t have enough options, only young options. Ben Woodburn? Nice talent but you cannot put too much pressure on his shoulders.
“In winter we were looking, but you cannot buy a player only because you need one, and not care who. Buying no player is better than buying the wrong player, actually.
“So we left it, then Phil came back, Sadio [Mane] came back, and now the basis is good, really good. Now we have to build on it.”