Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said the club has to be willing to spend heavily if they are to return to the top four of the Premier League and with it, the Champions League, the
Rodgers was speaking after the Reds missed out on the signing of Willian, the Anfield club gazumped when Tottenham Hotspur made a £30m offer to Anzhi Makhachkala for the Brazil international. Liverpool’s owners were reluctant to match the fee and Rodgers was forced to end his interest in the player, who could now be set to move to Chelsea instead.
Willian is the third proposed big-money buy to evade Rodgers, after moves for his former Shakhtar teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa also proved unsuccessful. Mkhitaryan joined Borussia Dortmund while Costa chose to sign a new contract with Atletico.
Rodgers, who has delivered a profit on his transfer dealings so far this summer, outlined his frustration at repeatedly missing out on his more expensive targets and said that while he understands Liverpool need to work within a set budget, it is vital that the signings he makes are of a high standard – and that standard can cost a lot of money. “There have been a number of transfers we have looked at over the course of the summer,” Rodgers said.
“Some may have said they might not be for a club outside of the Champions League, but we always need to try to get the best players we possibly can,” the manager added. “We have been very ambitious in our attempts to try to get players to improve the team. Some might say too ambitious but this is Liverpool Football Club. This is a big club.
“We identify targets and then try and get the deal done financially. Willian is a fantastic player. The club pushed as hard as they felt they could financially but it wasn’t to be. It’s the owners’ money and they will always have the final say because it’s they who run the club. The bottom line is he hasn’t come here.
“I understand the climate where the club is at, but we need to push in order to get the best players we possibly can into the club if we’re to going to have any chance of progressing. If you’re going to climb the league, you have to have quality. There are still a number of days left in the window and we will do everything we possibly can to get the players in.”
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