Jurgen Klopp has opened up on his defensive options amid speculation linking Liverpool to Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Reds boss has remained tight-lipped as far as a revival of a move for the Dutchman is concerned and instead expressed the faith he has in his current centre-backs.
“We have four (centre-backs). I don’t think we need more,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“Joe (Gomez) is in a really good way but it was not his day (against Athletic Bilbao). He made his life difficult with a few passes but things like this happen.”
“In the moment I’m fine. We are open until the 31st (of August). We cannot force the things and we would never get a centre-back just because.”
“We have the need, we have some but you don’t take any. It doesn’t work. Look out there and tell me five that would make us stronger, five. Then you win a prize! It’s difficult how it is.”
“I’m happy. You can imagine we still work on different things and we will see if it works.”
The belief Liverpool need no more than four central-defenders doesn’t entirely dismiss an official attempt to sign Van Dijk but rather suggests one might have to make way to open space for the former Celtic man.
Less than a week before the club’s opening game of the new Premier League season against Watford, it’s also only right that Klopp, as manager, puts his confidence in those prepared to play for him. He was never going to outline the need for defensive reinforcements.
A slight dismissal of a new defender arriving also plays in keeping to the inevitably more under-the-radar approach Liverpool have taken towards Van Dijk’s situation, after previously being forced to apologise for an alleged illegal pursuit.
The club won’t make a bid until given good reason Southampton are open to offers, thereby explaining Klopp mentally preparing to progress with a quartet of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan.