Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s jibe over Liverpool’s spending and insists he pulled out of a move for Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak due to the cost.
The Anfield boss smashed the world-record fee for a goalkeeper by splashing out £67million for Roma’s Alisson.
And that means the German has spent £176.75m so far this summer after the arrivals of Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Fabinho.
That led to Manchester United manager Mourinho ramping up the pressure on Klopp yesterday by insisting the Reds should be competing to win the Premier League this season.
The Red Devils chief said: “Maybe this season finally you demand that they win.
“You have to be fair and now you have to demand and say the team with investments that they have made last season, in January, that they have made now, it will probably be the record of the Premier League this season.
“This is a team that was a finalist in the Champions League, you have to say you are a big candidate, you have to win.”
But Klopp has hit back at his foe and insisted the whopping fee for Alisson was a necessity – and revealed he could have bought an even more expensive stopper.
Speaking to ESPN FC, the 51-year-old said: “Everybody thinks it’s a lot of money. It is a lot of money, but he could’ve left for crazy money. The clause for Oblak for example is 100m euros (£89m), so nice!
“The goalkeeper market is different because it’s not each year that there is anybody available. We didn’t know exactly if Alisson is available or not, but from a specific moment we realised obviously he is available and that’s the moment when we decided we want to go for him.”
Liverpool, who lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final two months ago, last won silverware in 2012 when they defeated Cardiff City to win the League Cup.
When quizzed about whether the summer outlay on new talent increases the pressure to end their trophy-drought, Klopp brushed off the extra expectancy.
“I don’t think it’s a big difference. Only that now people maybe from [last season], they believe a little bit more, but it doesn’t change the situation.
“Yes our job is to improve the team every year, to improve the football every year and if you do that then the chances become bigger.
“But the thing is that the other teams don’t sleep, so Man City are still a fantastic team and United will have again a fantastic team… Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham.
“Tottenham pretty much complete together, Arsenal, they lost [Jack] Wilshere, that’s it, and otherwise they only brought players in, so strong side obviously.
“Everton is for big things, Wolverhampton can be a surprise. It’s a difficult league, so we don’t have to dream too much and we don’t.”
Liverpool start their bid to improve on last year’s fourth-placed finish on August 12 at home to West Ham.