Klopp blames Covid crisis for lack of transfer funds at Liverpool


London (AFP) – Liverpool are unlikely to bolster their injury-hit defence this month due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, manager Jurgen Klopp revealed on Thursday.

The English champions are expected to be without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the rest of the season, while Joel Matip is also currently sidelined leaving Klopp without a senior recognised centre-back.

Midfielder Fabinho has deputised in central defence for most the season, while youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have had to be drafted in.

Despite the closure of stadiums to fans due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Reds spent a reported £70 million in the summer transfer window on Konstantinos Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota, all of whom have also had spells out due to injury.

“I cannot say definitely we will not do it, it’s just not likely because of the situation in the world,” said Klopp ahead of his side’s trip to Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday. “It’s not the best situation for the whole planet, so why should it be for a football club.”

The German led Liverpool to winning the Champions League in 2018/19 and followed that up with the club’s first league title for 30 years in 2020.

However, the financial springboard expected from that success has not materialised with the growing possibility of a full season with supporters through the gates.

“This club, with these owners, will always be very responsible with the things we do,” added Klopp.

“If the world would be a normal place, everything would be fine, we won the league, won the Champions League, the club is in the best possible situation, then you have three senior centre-halves all injured – is that a situation where usually we would do something?

“Yes, definitely, but we are not in that situation so I don’t know if something will happen or not.

“We have to deal with the situation like we did it so far and we have to get through this.”

Liverpool still top the Premier League, but the injury toll has shown in recent weeks as they have failed to win in three league games for the first time since 2018 to see their advantage at the top of the table whittled away.

Manchester United are level on points with Klopp’s men and have a game in hand to come at Burnley on Tuesday before the top two face off at Anfield on January 17.

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