Jurgen Klopp has refused to quash speculation linking Liverpool with a move for Thiago Alcantara, the Reds boss admitting it is “nice” to see rumours suggesting the Bayern Munich star could be on his way to Anfield this summer.
Liverpool, so far, have been tight-lipped on the speculation, and at a press conference to preview their Premier League opener against Leeds United, Klopp was similarly coy.
Asked if he could end the rumours, the Reds boss said: “If I could invent a word now that would end speculation, I could become really rich!
“I can’t end speculation as long as the transfer window is open, that’s all I can say. Did I mention that Thiago Alcantara is a really good player? Long ago!
“It’s nice that we are linked with him but that’s pretty much all, really. He is a good player, Liverpool are a big club, that’s nice, but apart from that, really nothing else to say on it. Unfortunately, maybe good for you [the media], I cannot end the speculation.”
Klopp also discussed the future of midfielder Gini Winaldum and striker Rhian Brewster during the press conference, and spoke of the fact that the transfer window will remain open until October 6, despite the league campaign beginning this weekend.
“In a normal world, I would prefer that all transfer windows close the same day and if they close before the season [then] even better,” he said.
“This season is a special one, and I’m happy we closed it alongside other countries as well, otherwise it wouldn’t make any sense at all. I like that we now close on October 6 then [for] nine or 10 days later domestic transfers are possible, that’s completely fine. Closing it before the season, when others didn’t, made no sense. It harmed our clubs.”
Klopp also discussed the Premier League’s decision to limit teams to seven substitutes, only three of which can be used, this season – and it is fair to say the German is not a fan.
“I thought from a common sense point of view that this year – and only this year, not forever – we would have 20 [players in the matchday squad] and five [substitutes to use],” he said.
“It’s not about having an advantage because we can bring five top players on. I don’t like that we dealt with this thing based on the wrong facts. It’s not about an advantage, it’s about player welfare and it’s about having the highest quality in the games for all teams.
“I was really surprised when I heard the league decided against it. It is really hard. You look to the other countries, in Germany you have Bayern – for sure the best team and having five subs is an advantage for them, but they play the most games as well. That balances it out.
“It’s 18 and three, back to that, so you have to rotate more, you need numbers, I don’t know if you need more players but you need fit players to rotate and face these challenges. That’s the job we have to do, to be prepared as much as possible.”