Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he has the final say on transfers ahead of the Reds' FA Cup third-round replay against Exeter City at Anfield on Wednesday.
The German's predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, recently revealed that the infamous transfer committee at Anfield was "slightly different" from other clubs, and he did not have "the sole final say" during his tenure, per Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday.
Klopp admitted that he needed to get permission on major transfers but confirmed that no player would be signed for Liverpool if he didn't want them at the club, per Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo:
Yes [I have the final say]. But does anybody have the final say. For example, say I wanted to take Zlatan Ibrahimovic and we have to pay £100 million plus a big contract at 35 I think I would have to ask first!
Sometimes my staff and I have an idea about a player, then we collect information and then we have players our scouts bring in and we speak about it.
If I don’t want a player to come here then he will not come. If a player I want doesn’t fit our budget then he will not come too. It’s a normal situation.
Liverpool were forced into a replay when they drew 2-2 with League Two Exeter at St. James' Park on Jan. 8, and they have since drawn 3-3 with Arsenal and lost to Manchester United.
Klopp fielded one of the the club's youngest-ever sides for the first clash against the Grecians, and he admitted that the squad for the replay would be similarly inexperienced, per the Times' Tony Barrett:
Per Rimmer, the Reds boss described the replay as a big opportunity for the younger players to make a statement as they attempt to qualify for the fourth round, where West Ham United await:
"We play at Anfield and I would say we don’t have to think so much about the first game. It’s a big chance and we can show the young boys that we trust them. It’s very important. It’s a real competition against a good team. It’s similar to Germany, they all know how to play football. It’s a real man’s competition."
Liverpool have endured a busy schedule of late, with a number of injuries affecting their squad, and there is no let-up, with a midweek League Cup clash against Stoke City to negotiate after the weekend's Premier League visit to Norwich City.
Striker Daniel Sturridge remains out with an injury, Klopp confirmed, and thus Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke will likely be relied upon again in the upcoming matches, per Liverpool:
Klopp has enjoyed mixed fortunes since his instalment as Liverpool boss in October.
The latest loss to United was a big blow, and the Reds are now ninth in the Premier League, eight points off the top four.
Defeat to Exeter would be a catastrophe for Liverpool, given the disparity between the two clubs, while FA Cup glory should most certainly be an aim for the Anfield outfit this season.
Per Barney Ronay of the Guardian, Klopp has a mishmash of a squad to deal with—a result of numerous managerial changes and a confused transfer policy—and it is unclear whether he will look to make significant additions in the current window.
He has already brought in Steven Caulker on loan, though Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe and Dean Jones had their reservations about the move:
However, Klopp was adamant on Tuesday that the Belgian deserved it, per Rimmer:
We would not have had offered him a new contract if we had the same thinking (as his critics). People are talking about new goalkeepers, especially from Germany, but I have heard nothing bad about Simon here.
It’s normal for Simon to be involved in one or two goals conceded, but the package is perfect. He is young enough to develop and gives the whole team a good feeling when he’s in the starting lineup.
Liverpool's season could still be a big success if they can improve in the Premier League and win the League Cup, the FA Cup or both.
However, there is work to be done by Klopp, and the first job is to get past Exeter in what should be an easy game for the home team on Merseyside.