Thursday 27 November 2014

I will not waste Luis Suarez cash on 'stars', vows Brendan Rodgers

Eight new signings expected at Anfield in £100m spree but they won't just be 'names'

Chris Bascombe

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is preparing his side for the new season on the club's tour to the United States but has his sights set on adding Ryan Bertrand, Dejan Lovren and Javi Manquillo to his squad. Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is preparing his side for the new season on the club's tour to the United States but has his sights set on adding Ryan Bertrand, Dejan Lovren and Javi Manquillo to his squad. Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Ryan Bertrand
Javi Manquillo
Dejan Lovren

Brendan Rodgers says he will continue to snub stellar names unless they fit the "right profile" for Liverpool as he continues the £100m reshaping of his side in the wake of Luis Suarez's exit.

While some of the world's biggest clubs pursue their obsession with marquee purchases, Rodgers says he would rather save funds than waste his money on vanity products.

Liverpool are flush with the largest transfer kitty in their history and are likely to have a minimum of eight new recruits by August, the next of which Rodgers hopes will be the Southampton centre-half Dejan Lovren and Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand.

The London club are resisting an £8m bid for Bertrand, which Liverpool believe demonstrates how much more of a title threat they are now perceived as being.

Loic Remy is currently with the Liverpool squad in Boston to become their fifth summer signing, following Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic and Emre Can.

RECRUITS

Liverpool have been conspicuous by their absence in auctions for some of the stars of the World Cup, but Rodgers says his recruits were long-term targets, subject to diligent scouting and referencing rather than being assessed for their "names".

"They are all big signings for us because they will all make a big contribution," Rodgers said. "Maybe for the media there is guessing how we spend the money but you only spend the money if the players are there. What we can't do is spend for the sake of it. The players we've brought in are players we wanted anyway.

"Our signings are strategic. They are not just names. They all fit into the purpose of the team, but of course we want them to make a contribution. If that means we do not spend all the money or the net spend is the same, then so be it.

"There is a responsibility (to spend well). I have always said at every club I've been at, the club's money is my money. I work for the club. I'm there to serve the club and run it the best I can on the field and work with the owners off it.

"They know I push for the best players to come in and they trust how we work. I would not pay more than a value. If clubs sense there is an opportunity to get more out of us it won't happen. We are very unified in how we work in that way. There is money available but we know spending money does not guarantee success.

"Last January everyone was crying out that we needed more signings. We never signed anyone. OK, we might have done with one or two but it was not a major factor in us not winning (the title)."

Lallana is the most expensive deal so far at £25m, but Rodgers rejects the idea Liverpool paid too much for the midfielder.

"We paid what we thought he was worth," he said. "I spoke to enough people about him and have seen enough of him, and know enough people who had seen him and played with him to know he would be a great signing for us. I have no qualms about it. The value of British players is always pushed up. We would not go higher than we thought he was worth.

"He is a great boy. The types of players we bring in have the profile we want so the transition should be smooth. Of course it is strange for them coming into a new team, but you see it with Adam straight away, he presses for the ball when he does not have it and he has beautiful balance. He can score goals and create goals. He is a wonderful footballer.

"I have been impressed by his mentality and character. The character is important. It is not just about the player, but the right type of person. I want players that are committed to the cause to make Liverpool the best we can be.

"I want players resting when they should be resting, training hard and working hard and focusing on their life as footballers.

"We have brought in those types. It is footballing qualities and human qualities we want."

It remains to be seen if he can add long-term target Bertrand. Rodgers thought he had an £8m deal in January, only for Chelsea to block the sale. The London club were unhappy at how little game time Victor Moses received at Anfield while on loan last season and that has made negotiations problematic.

Liverpool are also discussing a loan move for Atletico Madrid right-back Javi Manquillo. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

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