In a bid to distance themselves from any potential self-implosion despite having shelled out hundreds of millions of pounds on new players this summer, don’t expect to find Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp following suit and talking down his team’s title credentials in the manner of Manchester bosses Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
In comparison, Klopp has, save for a £35.7mn splash on Mohamed Salah, paid a pittance for reinforcements until now; his much-publicised failure to lure Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk landing the Liverpudlians in hot water with tapping-up claims abound while RB Leipzig hold the fort and attempt to ward off their interest in Guinean international Naby Keita by quoting the Reds astronomical figures for his capture.
Elsewhere, Liverpool labour to keep their own wolves from the door as Barcelona circle in on Brazilian attacker Philippe Coutinho either to replace Neymar or be reunited with the winger as reports of a €100mn package having been tabled currently do the rounds.
Nevertheless, Klopp expects his men to make a push for the title. “Yes, we will be playing for the championship” he confirmed on Monday afternoon. “We don’t start a season by not having any ambitions. We have to have our goals and I think we have a very good team now. We did have a bit of bad luck last season. I think we can play a little bit better.” Klopp continued, with Liverpool’s Tuesday night Audi Cup tie against Bayern Munich viewed as an opportunity for the ex-Dortmund manager to assess where his squad currently stands and the misfortune he alluded to coming by way of a hefty injury list that saw a positive start in the 2016/2017 season wilt away after reaching Europa League and League Cup finals the previous campaign.
Also key to being able to hold on to and attract big names will be safe passage to the Champions League. Due to their final fourth-place finish, Liverpool will need to navigate a two-legged qualification tie at the risk of harming their Premier League title ambitions by boosting their calendar load, should they not possess strength in numbers. Later this week, they are set to learn which opposition stands in their way of reaching European football’s most-esteemed club competition.