£75 million Van Dijk fee "not nice" but Liverpool have to adapt to the transfer market says Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has acknowledged that the club have to "adapt" to the transfer market despite insisting that it is "not nice" after spending £75 million to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

£75 million Van Dijk fee "not nice" but Liverpool have to adapt to the transfer market says Jürgen Klopp
(Picture: Getty Images - John Powell)

Jürgen Klopp has acknowledged that Liverpool "have to adapt" to the rising prices of the transfer market and says in terms of any possible outgoings in January that the club's needs will come first.  

The Reds obliterated their transfer record after agreeing a £75 million deal to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, the Dutchman's arrival meaning five of the six most expensive signings in Liverpool's history have come since Klopp's arrival in October 2015.

That includes all of Klopp's last four signings, Van Dijk, Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah, and while Klopp says the market's inflation is "not nice", he admits the club simply have to stump up the money to bring in their targets.

The German insisted last summer that he wanted to "do it differently" rather than spend such amounts on players, but has adjusted his attitude having spent a world-record fee for a defender on Van Dijk.

"The last thing I think about when signing a player is the price"

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's clash with Leicester City on Saturday, Klopp said: "I'm surprised about the development [of transfers] in the last two years because there were big steps and then the last half a year changed pretty much everything."

He admitted that Liverpool "cannot change that" as a club and acknowledged that while not every club "would be able" to spend such inflated fees, "a lot of clubs are able to do it and will do it in the future."

"It's all about how the market always is, it's about the need and the opportunity," Klopp said, subtly justifying the fee paid for Van Dijk. "If you want to sign a player, actually the last thing I think about is the price to be honest. It's not because I like throwing money around, only because we are only thinking about the player.

Klopp declared that there is "one moment" where the club receives an asking price when they "have to accept it or not" and explained that the market has undergone "a big change" in the "last few months and years."

The German added: "We have to adapt to it, that's how it is. We changed already and that doesn't mean that all transfers will now be in this category but it's the same like it was before."

He noted that there was a "big transfer for offensive player" half a year ago when Paris Saint-Germain signed Neymar on £198 million and now have completed "a big transfer for a defensive player" which is "around a third" of the Neymar fee.

Klopp said: "That's it. Not nice, but that's the market, that's the world. We have to adapt, that's how it is."

Klopp open to loan signings but insistent Liverpool maintain squad strength

Liverpool could allow several players to leave on loan next month with Southampton thought to be keen on a temporary deal for Daniel Sturridge and Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United also interested in Danny Ings.

Elsewhere Marko Grujić and Ben Woodburn - having played just a combined 154 minutes this season - could also be loaned out for more regular minutes to aid their respective developments.

Yet Liverpool must also ensure they have a squad deep enough to compete in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup and Klopp says that the club's needs will be the first priority.

He said that "the first thing" Liverpool "have to make sure" of is that they have the squad that they "need for the second part of the season."

Klopp reflected on their "good situation so far in the squad" and declared that is what they "need to have again" for the remainder of the campaign.

He revealed: "Usually you make an agreement [with a player] for a year. I know players have longer contracts and stuff like that but that's how it is [and then] everything can happen in the big transfer window in the summer. Usually, the player has the time [one year] to train and play that good [to show] that it makes sense that he stays here."

The manager recognised that "for a few young players it is quite different" and so in their cases they will "have to see" what they do.

Klopp added that they will also consider their choices with "all the rest" but asserted that "the club's interest is first 100 per-cent" and that they must ensure they "have enough players for different situations."

He acknowledged that "the perfect situation" is that it is "really good" for both the player and the club, adding: "If not, the club needs to come first. We will see what happens. There is nothing decided so far. There are a few [clubs interested] in players. If we agree or not? No decisions so far."