Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that his team was forced to accept defeat in their search for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.
Liverpool have been working on a deal to sign the England international for years but have been forced to pull out of a run that is becoming too costly for a team with limited resources and significant transfer needs elsewhere in the squad.
Dortmund, if they sell Bellingham this summer, are expected to demand a fee of at least €150m which, added to salaries and agent fees, has seen Liverpool step aside, leaving Manchester City behind. and Real Madrid as the most likely destinations for the 19-year-old.
When asked about Liverpool’s decision, Klopp said at Friday’s press conference: “To be honest, there’s nothing to say about it. If we’re not talking about players we sign or don’t sign, why talk about this type of speculation now? Nothing really to say.”
Klopp was pressured by the situation and later compared Liverpool’s search for Bellingham to a child asking for a Ferrari for Christmas.
“This is not about Jude Bellingham,” the boss continued. “I never understood why we constantly talk about things that theoretically we cannot have.
“We can’t have six players in the summer where they all have £100m, for example. You have to realize what you can do, and you have to work with it. ‘How much money do we have available?’, and then you have to work with it. That is the work we have to do.
“We are not children. Ask a five-year-old what he wants for Christmas and he’ll tell you a Ferrari. You wouldn’t say it’s a good idea. It’s too expensive and you can’t even drive it anyway. That’s how it is. If this kid is unhappy his whole life because he can’t get a Ferrari, it would be a really sad life. It’s just what you can do, and then you work with it.
“This is how I have always worked. What we need and what we want, we try absolutely everything to get it, but there are times when you have to accept this or that which is not possible for us, so we step aside and do different things.
Liverpool still intend to strengthen themselves in midfield but face an anxious wait for Chelsea’s next round of contract talks with Mason Mount, who will be sold if he does not agree to an extension this summer.