Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed Manchester United will spend big money on transfers in the summer and how his side will cope with their rivals splashing the cash
Jurgen Klopp has predicted Manchester United will “go big” this summer to fast-track their return to football’s top table.
But the Kop boss insists Liverpool won’t take their foot off the gas next season – with Premier League rivals Chelsea and Tottenham desperate to close the gulf in class created by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and his own Anfield stars in the last five years.
Klopp believes that gap won’t last forever – and he and his stars will have to work harder than ever and make “a proper machine of it” next season to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
Liverpool go into their final game of the season against Wolves aiming for three points – and hoping for a miracle win by Aston Villa at City. That incredible scenario would guarantee a spectacular title win – their second in three seasons – and keep their quadruple bid alive as they head to Paris for the Champions League Final clash with Real Madrid next Saturday.
But whatever plays out in the title battle with Guardiola’s stars on Sunday, Klopp knows if they take their eye off the ball next season, Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte will be ready to make them pay. Liverpool enter the final day of the domestic campaign with an 18 point lead over third place Chelsea, 21 ahead of Tottenham and an eye-watering 31 points in front of United.
But asked if their rivals are close enough to challenge Liverpool and City for the title next season, Klopp was adamant in his response. He said: “Yes. I see it when we played Chelsea in the FA Cup final. I was over the moon about the way we played in the first half an hour at Wembley. It was the best half an hour we have ever played against Chelsea because they are so very difficult.
“So we all learn, we will see how the squads will look next year – all these kinds of things. But you do know that Erik ten Hag is arriving at Manchester United? And they don’t wait five years now or whatever they will go big and these kind of things.
“And you have Tottenham obviously. Antonio Conte is very, very ambitious and they already have a good team and if to play the two competitions (Premier league and Europe) they maybe need a few more players. But they will bring them in and then that’s it.
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“But it’s not about that. Nobody has to worry that the gap will stay forever or whatever. It was the hardest work to get here so if we ease off the gas a little bit then the 15-16 point gap at the moment is immediately down to three points – or nothing. So it is all about us. To make sure we can be as good as possible and about the rest we don’t have a real influence on.
“I say again we have a talented group, and we will have a talented group next year. But we have to make a proper, proper machine of it and then we will go and we will see what happens.”
Although the odds are against them with City favourites to defeat Villa, Klopp believes his experiences at Mainz where he won promotion to the Bundesliga in 2004 the year after losing out on goal difference stand him in good stead. “At Mainz life gave me another knock because we didn’t get promoted by a point and then by a goal, so it was real test. And then we got promoted” he recalled.
“So things work out if you stay on track. If you stay in the right mood. And that’s what we will be against Wolves. I learned it early. That’s the only way I can do it actually. I enjoy the journey a lot and everyone who wants to do that as well is invited. And if not then I cannot change that.”