Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the club have opened talks over summer deals, but has also made it clear that Champions League qualification will be a deal-breaker for many of their targets.
The Reds will go into their game against West Ham at the London Stadium this Sunday knowing exactly where they stand in the top four with their closest rivals, Manchester City and Arsenal, both playing their respective games the day before.
Having dropped crucial points against the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton in recent weeks, Klopp knows a win against Slaven Bilic’s side, who come into the game having beaten second-placed Tottenham at London Stadium just over a week ago, is imperative.
Missing out on the top four could have ramifications beyond where they are playing there football next year and, whilst the former Borussia Dortmund boss confirmed that talks had begun, he also admitted that his targets had other suitors and that a seat at Europe’s top table would be crucial for negotiations.
Speaking ahead of the east London clash, the German said;
“The players we are talking to, I know they have offers from other clubs. It’s important for the club,
“There’s a lot of money in Champions League, as a football club we have to do this.
“Should I go to the players in the dressing room, ‘boys the better you play the better the players that replace you next year are’?!”
The self-proclaimed ‘Normal One’ has a fondness for attacking talent and, whilst that is the case for many of his rumoured targets such as Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Inter Milan’s Ivan Peresic, the German has also been heavily linked with a move for one of the most sought after names this summer.
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk is likely to be swayed by the lure of Europe’s blue ribbon competition this summer, with the 25-year-old likely to have the pick of the Premier League’s top destinations over the next few months.
However, should the Reds miss out and have to settle for Europa League, another rumoured target in Burnley’s Michael Keane would less likely demand Champions League football should he be offered a move away from Turf Moor.