Jurgen Klopp has responded to claims Liverpool will spend £250million next year and spoken about Julian Ward’s upcoming Anfield exit ahead of the Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Liverpool returned to action on Thursday night as they came up against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup round of 16. Despite goals from Fabio Carvalho and Mo Salah, Liverpool were knocked out of the competition as City won 3-2.
Klopp’s men will now turn their attention back to the Premier League, which they haven’t played in since November 12 due to the World Cup break.
They face Aston Villa away from home on Boxing Day, before hosting Leicester City at Anfield on December 30.
Ahead of the clash, Klopp was asked about new Villa boss Unai Emery. He said (via the Liverpool Echo): “He did an incredible job at Villarreal. What you saw in the first few games looked quite similar as it’s his way to play and it’s a good way.”
Recently, there have been claims Liverpool will need to spend an eye-watering £250m in 2023 to keep up with their ‘Big Six’ rivals. Jamie Carragher reckons Klopp has asked Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group for this amount, which is why they are now seeking minority investors.
While Klopp refutes the £250m claim, he has admitted he would like to see more money invested in the squad. “I don’t know about the amount of money,” the manager admitted. “But I’m not against investment, to be honest! We will see what happens in the future.”
When asked about spending a big portion of that money on Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Klopp laughed off the claim and said: “I’m the wrong person to ask that. But January, in our situation, is a window where from the sport side we are always prepared. We always try to work with what we’ve got. That will not change.”
Attention then turned to the fitness of the Liverpool squad. When asked to provide an update, Klopp replied: “Milly [James Milner] will be out for a couple of games. Bobby [Firmino] is already on the better side of it, it’s not a major thing and we will go day by day with him. Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] is fine.
“No other stuff. We have to be careful (with the viruses going around) like everyone else.”
On right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been suffering with an illness recently, Klopp added: “Trent hopefully will be better. [He] hasn’t taken part in a full session yet.”
The German also spoke about the departure of Sporting Director Julian Ward. He replaced Michael Edwards in the role over the summer but has already revealed his desire to leave Liverpool at the end of the campaign.
“It was a surprise when Julian told me,” Klopp admitted. “We were completely normal together and never had a problem.
“He told me after the Southampton game. But it was his decision and that’s okay. It will have no impact on this period (January window), not at all.”