If Liverpool fails to qualify for the Champions League, Jurgen Klopp admits it will be more difficult to recruit players this summer.
The Reds, who won the Premier League last season and were European champions in 2019, realize they’ll have to fight hard to finish in the top four this season.
Liverpool is sixth in the table heading into Thursday’s crucial clash with Chelsea at Anfield, and a loss to Thomas Tuchel’s side will leave them four points adrift of the Champions League places.
A victory, on the other hand, would put them ahead of West Ham and into the final qualifying spot.
“The key reason for qualifying for the Champions League is always financial,” Klopp told reporters on Friday. It’s a fantastic competition to play in, but it’s all about [financials] for the club.
“Sure, you want to pique the interest of some players. We were sitting with some players who had offers from Champions League clubs at first, and it was like, “Well, sorry, we can just sell nothing or the Europa League!”
“But aside from that, it’s always about money,” says the narrator. This year, there isn’t much of a difference, in my opinion. I hope people still see that we give it our all and do all we can to make it happen, but we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out.
“It’s not as if the owners called me and said, ‘If you don’t qualify for the Champions League, then this will happen,’ because we’re all in this together. We’re both aware of the situation. They are well aware that we will do everything possible to qualify for the Champions League once more.”
With the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic still being felt around the football world, Liverpool’s transfer plans are fraught with confusion.
The Reds’ unwillingness to spend big was evident in January when they passed on a top-level center-back in favor of signing Ben Davies for a small fee from Preston and loaning Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
It remains to be seen whether or not the loan will be extended in the summer. To prevent a repeat of this season, Liverpool will have to spend about £15 million (€18 million), and they would almost definitely need to put in a center-back.