Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted the faltering Premier League holders will struggle to “excite” potential signings without Champions League football.
Klopp helped end Liverpool’s 30-year wait for an English league title last season, but the defending champions are struggling to replicate that form this season.
Liverpool are not only 22 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, but they are also sixth and two points adrift of the top four in the race for a Champions League berth.
The Reds have been linked with the likes of Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, but Klopp issued a transfer warning ahead of Thursday’s blockbuster clash against fifth-placed Chelsea.
“The main reason for qualifying for the Champions League is always financial,” Klopp said. “It is a great competition to play in but for the club it’s about [finances].
“Sure, you want to excite some players. In the beginning we were sitting with some players who had offers from clubs who played in the Champions League and it was like ‘ok, sorry, we can only offer nothing or Europa League!’
“But apart from that it’s always about finances. This year there is no difference, I would say. I hope people still see we do our absolute best and try everything to make it happen, but we will see how it will end up.
“It is not that the owners called me and said ‘if you don’t qualify for the Champions League then this or that will happen’, because we are all together. We all understand the situation. They know we try absolutely everything to qualify for the Champions League again, that’s clear.”
Klopp, meanwhile, is ready to block his players from representing their countries during the international break due to quarantine protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.
World Cup qualifiers are set to take place this month but under current COVID-19 guidelines, arrivals from countries the United Kingdom regards as high risk are subject to 10 days of hotel quarantine.
“I think all the clubs agree that with the same problems, we cannot just let the boys go and then sort the situation when they come back by placing our players in a 10-day quarantine in a hotel. It is just not possible,” Klopp said.
“I understand the needs of the different FAs but this is a time where we cannot make everyone happy and we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority.”
Klopp added: “We just deal with what other people decided so we got kind of used to it. But I think everyone agrees we cannot let the players go and play for their country and come back and quarantine for 10 days in a hotel.”
Liverpool have lost each of their last four Premier League home games, as many as they had in their first 100 at Anfield under Klopp. The Reds have never lost five consecutive home games in their history, either in the league or all competitions.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have won each of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea, netting 11 goals and conceding four. The only team to win five in a row against Chelsea in the Premier League is Blackburn (seven between February 1993 and May 1996).