Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reiterated his insistence he is in charge of transfers after predecessor Brendan Rodgers claimed players were forced upon him.
Rodgers cited the example of Mario Balotelli, currently on loan at AC Milan after a poor debut season at Anfield, as a situation where he had no control over signings.
“When the owners want you to go down that route and there are no other options, you give it a go,” Rodgers said.
Liverpool’s transfer committee, made up of the manager, members of the scouting department and senior management, has come in for much criticism after a raft of mediocre signings.
Klopp admits there are certain parameters within which he must work but was unequivocal on who has the final word.
“If I say, for example, we take Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is 35, and we would have to pay £100m (€130m), then maybe I should ask before I sign him,” he said.
“But it is as it is when I said on the first day I came here; it is like I used to work.
“Sometimes my staff and myself have an idea with a player we know or heard about and we collect some information about this.
“If I don’t want the player to come here he will not come and if the player I want does not fit our budget then he will not come too. That is absolutely normal.”
There is no doubt Liverpool need new recruits in the summer but goalkeeper will not be one of them after Simon Mignolet signed a new five-year contract.
The Belgium international is second only to Manchester City’s Joe Hart in terms of clean sheets in the last couple of years but he has come in for criticism for a number of errors and unconvincing performances. But none of that has worried Klopp.
“We will not have offered him a contract if we had the same thinking (as his critics) — a lot of people who speak about this situation always talk about new goalkeepers,” said the Reds boss.
“But when I came here I heard nothing negative about Simon with all the people I spoke to. There was nothing to criticise.
“There have been a lot of games since I have been here and he has been involved in one or the other goal we have conceded — as is normal with goalkeepers — but we thought about the package and Simon Mignolet is perfect.
“He is a smart guy, young enough to develop in the things he has to develop and he gives the whole team a good feeling when he is in the starting line-up.
“The result was we were sure we wanted to work with him for the next few years. We are satisfied with this position.”
Klopp admits he cannot force the club’s youngsters to stay but he wants players who are interested in the club’s future and not a quick pay day.
A number of youngsters, wantaway striker Jerome Sinclair among them, will get a run out again in tonight’s FA Cup third round replay against Exeter.
With Daniel Sturridge still not fit to return, with Klopp revealing he has not yet trained with the full squad since a hamstring injury in early December, and the side struggling for goals, the 19-year-old could have a real chance to make a name for himself.
However, although Liverpool’s youngest ever first-team player — he made his debut at West Brom in September 2012 aged 16 years and six days — scored in the first tie at St James’ Park, his time on Merseyside is coming to an end.
His contract expires in the summer and he has already been linked with a move to Watford this month, and while that is unlikely it seems probable the stand-off over a new deal will mean he will leave at the end of the season.
“I like Jerome, he is a real talent and if he wants to stay with us no problem. If not, we cannot force it,” said Klopp.
“As long as he is here he is a LFC player absolutely no problem but I cannot make decisions for them.”
Sturridge’s injury situation continues to frustrate Klopp, who is still waiting for the England international to put together a run of successive days training before he will consider him.
“Absolutely no chance for Daniel,” said the German.
Meanwhile, Exeter manager Paul Tisdale has told his players to enjoy tonight’s replay and make the most of the opportunity at Anfield.
“As much as we were delighted with the draw (in the first game), it was tinged slightly by the fact we had the lead with 15 minutes to go,” Tisdale said. But, being a football manager, you move onto the next very quickly. We’re going to enjoy it; we have nothing to lose.”
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