By Ian Parker, PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said there was no point in talking about things he could not have when asked about the club’s decision to pull out of the running to sign England midfielder Jude Bellingham.
Liverpool have long been linked with the Borussia Dortmund teenager, seen as one of the brightest young talents on the planet, and had reportedly laid extensive groundwork in a bid to bring the 19-year-old to Anfield this summer.
But with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid also interested in a move, the total price of the package now appears to be beyond Liverpool’s reach, forcing Klopp to look elsewhere in his midfield rebuild.
“I have nothing to say on that,” Klopp said in a press conference on Friday. “We don’t speak about players we sign or do not sign, so we don’t now speak about this kind of speculation. There is nothing to say about it.
“It is not about Jude Bellingham, my answer now, but I never understood why we talk about things we theoretically cannot have. We cannot have six players in a summer, everyone for £100million. Everyone would say that is clear.
“You have to realise what you can do and then work with it. That is your job. We are not children. When you ask a five-year-old what they want for Christmas and they tell you, I don’t know, a Ferrari, you wouldn’t say that’s a good idea, you would say that is too expensive and anyway you cannot drive it.
“If this kid then was really unhappy because he didn’t get a Ferrari, it would be a really sad life.
“You look what you can do, and you work with that. That is always how I worked. What we need and what we want, we try everything to try to get but there are moments where we have to accept and step aside and do different things.”
Coming off last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal, Klopp’s focus is now on Monday’s trip to Elland Road to face a Leeds side whose new manager bounce under Javi Gracia ended with a thud last weekend when they conceded four second-half goals to lose 5-1 at home to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace.
Leeds are the only side to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League this season and Klopp is eager to pay them back.
“They owe us three points,” he said. “It will be a big fight, a massive fight in the situation Leeds is in.
“Their last game (against Palace), these kinds of games can happen. They are actually in a pretty good moment but in this game they got a proper knock. These things can happen, because magic Roy (Hodgson) is back. Palace are a really good team. It was a tough one.
“We expect them to be on their toes, a massive fight, proper atmosphere. It will be a tough one but we have to build on two games where we were good or in moments really good. We will try to do that.”
Klopp will welcome back Luis Diaz, available for the first time since being injured in the 3-2 loss to Arsenal on October 9.
“He is 100 per cent ready and training, now we have to reintegrate him,” Klopp said of the Colombian forward. “He will be in the squad if nothing happens.”
Asked if his return was like a new signing, Klopp added: “Yes, absolutely…Luis developed massively, his English is getting better, he is settled, he has matured and is much more comfortable with everything.
“We are happy to have him back. He is a breath of fresh air. He cannot train without a smile on his face and that is something special. But he was out for a long time so we have to see how we can bring him back step by step.”