Liverpool plan to spend more than £100m in the summer
Liverpool will embark on a record-breaking transfer spree to build on their top four finish, but midfielder James Milner says those seeking an Anfield move solely because of Champions League football are “disrespecting” the club.
Fenway Sports Group is expected to spend well over £100 million on new recruits, with Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk a target and rated at least £50 million. That alone would smash the club’s transfer record of £35 million. Roma’s Mohamed Salah was wanted three years ago and is much-improved since then following an excellent Serie A campaign. Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Red Bull Leipzig’s Naby Keita are much admired, and despite Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic signing a new deal during the season, Jürgen Klopp made a bid for the 18-year-old a year ago and his regard will have been enhanced by the youngster’s progress.
Liverpool are also interested in numerous world-class strikers, while balancing their ambition with caution. The club wanted to sign Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe last summer but were warned off. The fact a £103 million bid from Real Madrid was recently rejected means Liverpool are realistic about how high to set their transfer ambitions. Nevertheless, the promise of being in the Champions League will ensure Liverpool are at least discussing the most coveted names in European football.
Milner, however, wants those who move to Merseyside to look beyond one esteemed tournament.
“It’s disrespectful to the club if you say the only reason you are going to Liverpool is for Champions League,” said Milner.
“With the history, the manager and the players at this club, it’s slightly disrespectful if the only reason you come is that. Maybe [the club is more attractive] but it’s one thing saying you are coming to play Champions League and another proving you are good enough to play in it. You have to come here and do the business.”