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Jurgen Klopp is so happy with his Liverpool youngsters he does not feel the need to splash the cash

What next? Jurgen Klopp has just won Liverpool’s first league trophy in three decades, but he knows there is no time to stand still.

‘I’ve heard people say it is only a real thing if we win twice in a row!’ Klopp said, with a disbelieving smile, during the course of a 40-minute Zoom call on Monday. ‘That is really funny! That is obviously an English thing.’

Klopp may raise an eyebrow at how quickly the narrative is moving around the newly-crowned Premier League champions, but he is aware there is an expectation he will bolster his squad from this position of strength. Anfield has not had such strong foundations to build on since the mid-1980s.

Jurgen Klopp has just won Liverpool’s first league trophy in three decades, but he knows there is no time to stand still

Jurgen Klopp has just won Liverpool’s first league trophy in three decades, but he knows there is no time to stand still

Jordan Henderson's leadership has been key to Liverpool's first Premier League title success

Jordan Henderson’s leadership has been key to Liverpool’s first Premier League title success

So the names have swirled around the rumour mill. Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly, Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, a return to Merseyside for Philippe Coutinho, now of Bayern Munich. And Ben White, who is impressively leading Leeds back to the Premier League. But best of all, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.

In a world where money was no option, Klopp would love Mbappe and enquired about him three years ago, when he played for Monaco. The real world, though, is significantly different and the landscape confronting football post-coronavirus is one that demands prudence and responsibility.

There will not be an addition to the title-winning squad that grabs the headlines and makes their rivals look twice. Liverpool walked away from the signing of Timo Werner earlier this month due to costs and they will remain on the outside when business resumes.

‘Nobody knows how the future will be, which is very strange,’ said Klopp. ‘Three months ago, nobody knew how it would be. Now we act a little bit like everything will be fine again?

Liverpool right back Neco Williams is likely to be seen as Trent Alexander-Arnold's back-up

Liverpool right back Neco Williams is likely to be seen as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s back-up

‘It is a little bit early to guess that. How much can you spend if you don’t know how much you can have?

‘What I can say is this team will not stop wanting it, that doesn’t mean we get it.

‘Everyone will see that we want to be successful again and that is how we did it all the time. I am very confident we can keep the team together, but all the rest of the planning is ongoing without knowing.’ This is a sensible mantra but is it not one that will open the door for their pursuers?

Chelsea have been spending like they used to under Roman Abramovich. And Manchester City will not take losing lightly. Meanwhile, Manchester United will invest to narrow the gap.

None of this flusters Klopp and there are valid reasons. He believes his current team – which has the potential to finish this campaign in record-breaking fashion – is only two seasons into its development. And further improvement can be squeezed from the likes of Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi.

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones played in the FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Chelsea in March

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones played in the FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Chelsea in March

To add to that, the youngsters who have been given cameos in the last 12 months are also filling their manager with great excitement. When he was appointed in October 2015, Klopp made it clear that he was not a chequebook manager, so the prospect of not spending does not fluster him.

Why should it? Liverpool have the best central defender in the world, Africa’s best player in Sadio Mane, a goalkeeper who is odds-on to retain the Golden Glove award – and Mohamed Salah, who is hell-bent on winning the Golden Boot for the third year in a row. It hardly needs surgery.

‘Maybe at a later point in the year, if the transfer window is still open, we will know more,’ said Klopp, whose side travel to face Manchester City on Thursday. ‘But this squad – look at it! It is not a squad you have to change now and say, “OK, we need this position and this position”.

‘If you are a football supporter, you want a back-up for him and him. Even if you are completely happy with everyone, you want back-ups. We don’t have a first XI, we have a first 16 or 17, they can all play to the same level.

Reds defender Ki-Jana Hoever has played matches in pre-season and is seen as the future

Reds defender Ki-Jana Hoever has played matches in pre-season and is seen as the future

‘What we want is to create are our transfers internally. So now, Neco Williams… people may have seen him against Arsenal and said, “Ah, yes. Nice game, he fights”. But if Vitor Matos (Liverpool’s elite development coach) was not here, he would not be here because he has helped a lot.

‘So bring the boys up! Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg, Yasser Larouci, Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain, all these boys, they have done really well. And a few I don’t know yet but I will know them.

‘We cannot spend millions and millions because we want to. We never wanted that. We want to strengthen this squad but this squad is strong and how do you improve it in the transfer market?’

The question was rhetorical. Klopp will let others scrabble around but he is not prepared to jeopardise the club’s finances – nor disrupt the harmony of a squad that is devoid of cliques.

Liverpool winger Harvey Elliot has appeared in cup matches and is still only 17-years-old

Liverpool winger Harvey Elliot has appeared in cup matches and is still only 17-years-old

‘We all will pay a bill in the end,’ said Klopp, referring to the devastating impact of the pandemic. ‘Hopefully it is over soon but nobody knows exactly how big the bill will be. It’s completely normal we wait a little longer with some decisions or just say, “We pause and try it again like this”.

‘We should not start taking for granted it all will be fine. I hope more than I ever hoped for something that it will be fine early. It would be great if the news is true about the vaccine (being close). It could be September.

‘We are all desperate to get our lost babies back. It’s not only in football. Going out and all that stuff. Piece by piece our normality. It’s just time. As long as you’re healthy you can deal with the other problems.’

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