Liverpool have made an emphatic statement of their intent to retain the Premier League title by spending £60million to land Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.
Thiago was unveiled on Friday as he completed his £20m switch from Bayern Munich, passing a medical after arriving on an early private flight into Manchester.
Jurgen Klopp is thrilled to have signed one of the world’s best midfielders and could hand him a debut at Chelsea on Sunday.
Liverpool have made an emphatic statement of intent in their signing of ‘exceptional’ Thiago
The Reds’ succesful day in the tranfer market was added to with news of Diogo Jota
There was an unexpected twist, however, as Liverpool also concluded a £41m deal for Jota, the Portugal forward, who had grown frustrated at Wolves.
The 23-year-old has been recruited to provide back-up for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Jota has signed a five-year contract after Liverpool switched their attentions to him, having initially spoken to Watford about signing Ismaila Sarr. Relegated Watford, however, were looking for a fee in excess of £50m for the Senegal forward.
Liverpool will potentially recoup £13m after agreeing to sell Ki-Jana Hoever to Wolves, who beat off interest from Juventus and Atletico Madrid for the 18-year-old Dutch defender. Liverpool have also negotiated a 15 per cent future sell-on clause.
But it is the double signings that show Liverpool mean business and Klopp is in no doubt that Thiago, in particular, will make a significant difference.
Officials at Bayern are distraught to have lost the 29-year-old Spain midfielder and the Liverpool manager could understand why.
‘Thiago is — and nobody would see it in a different way — an absolutely exceptional player,’ said Klopp.
Jurgen Klopp has been chasing the Champions League winner and hailed him as ‘exceptional’
‘It is difficult, and we said it last year and this year again, to improve a team like ours at the moment in a normal way.
‘That is (no criticism) about other teams but if we could spend £300-£400m then maybe we could find some players but even then it is not easy to bring them in.
‘But in this case he is a player who brings a different dimension to our game.
‘He has some skills which in general are pretty rare but they suit us. That doesn’t mean anything about the other players — it is only different. And that is what I was interested in.
‘He was excited about the opportunity. So there was not a lot of convincing needed and that helps. All the things came together — a win-win.’
There will be departures before the window closes, with Liverpool open to offers for Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Grujic, Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster, but Klopp was eager to stress that he will not be looking to offload first-choice names, such as Barcelona target Gini Wijnaldum.
The Liverpool manager also confirmed they would not be looking to sell Georginio Wijnaldum
There was, though, a warning from Klopp to his squad. He will have eight players for three midfield places, while Jota and Takumi Minamino will be waiting for chances up front.
It means some players may be restless but Klopp has made it clear that he will not be obsessing about keeping individuals happy.
‘I cannot keep a player happy,’ said Klopp. ‘I’m not worried about that. If we have more than three midfield players for example and we play 4-3-3 then a couple of players will not start. That is how it is.
‘But we have too many games. We have to find ways to make sure the players are fresh. It needs that rotation. We didn’t plan it, now I don’t say we play on Sunday like this, on Thursday like this, Monday after like this. We have to react. If everyone is fit then rotation is absolutely necessary otherwise it doesn’t work.’
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