Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jurgen Klopp insists he decides who Liverpool buy and sell following Brendan Rodgers' revelations

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Tom Rooney

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims that he has ultimate authority in deciding what players the club sign.

Since taking over on Merseyside in October, Klopp has been attempting to impart his methods to a squad of players that have been acquired by the nebulous Liverpool transfer committee, in what appears a haphazard manner.

Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports that the committee frequently ignored his requests for certain players, instead purchasing those they deemed more appropriate. According to the former Swansea boss, he was bestowed with Mario Balotelli after asking for Alexis Sanchez.

Following Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United, the Reds have now managed just two wins in their last eight games.

Klopp has brought in Steven Caulker from QPR to augment their waning defensive resources, though strangely deployed him as a striker. Prior to that teenager Marko Grujic was purchased from Red Star Belgrade before immediately being loaned back to the club.

Asked today if the final word on transfers was his, the German manager was unequivocal. “Yes. It’s how I am used to work. If I don’t want a player to come to the club he will not come. It’s normal,” he said.

Liverpool face Exeter in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday and, yet again, will be without Daniel Sturridge, who has not trained fully with the squad since December. Though defender Jon Flanagan is in line to make a first appearance since May 2014.

“Absolutely no chance for Daniel," said the 48-year-old. "Daniel has not been involved in team training since the Newcastle game. He’s had some issues. We will play a similar team to the last time (we played Exeter). We have to think about who it makes sense , for whom it’s not too difficult, and build a squad for this.”

“Jon is in a really good way and we are happy. He’s training today;  if nothing happens he’s on the bench,” said the former Dortmund boss. Kiopp went on to state that he hopes some of the club's more promising youngsters remain at Anfield and fight for a place in his future plans.

Case in point, 19-year-old striker Jerome Sinclair, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Having scored in the first tie, Sinclair may get  a start against Exeter, though rumours of a move to Watford persist. The German evidently rates the teenager and would like him not to go the way of Raheen Sterling.

"I like Jerome, he is a real talent and if he wants to stay with us no problem. If not, we cannot force it," said Klopp, who had nothing to say on the Watford link.

"He has skills, he is a very good shooter but physically it is not easy for him in the centre position in a Premier League game against 6ft 4in defenders to survive but he is very young and he can develop. As long as he is here he is a LFC player absolutely no problem but I cannot make decisions for them. As a club you cannot make younger players happy. That is not possible. It is not the first job."

Additional reporting by PA

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