Daily Express

Hopeful Klopp faces ‘crazy money’ deals

Klopp says Hammers will test makeshift rearguard

- By David Maddock

JURGEN KLOPP has not given up hope of signing a centre-half before Monday’s transfer deadline – but fears the “crazy money” being demanded could leave him empty-handed.

Liverpool have made contact with several clubs, including RB Leipzig with an initial inquiry about Dayot Upamecano, right, and then firm interest in team-mate Ibrahima Konate. Lille’s Sven Botman is also an option. Reds manager Klopp said: “You know the clubs where the centre-halves are playing because everyone is talking about them. Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player.

“And if they need money, then they want crazy money. I am not sure there is an £80million centre-back available. The teams would not sell this calibre of player now.” Klopp is amazed fans believe it is simple to instantly sign a defender good enough for Liverpool. “That’s not how it works,” he said. “We cannot go and say, ‘Are you ready to sort out our problem?’.”

He also reassured worried supporters that the club’s transfer team spend every waking hour mulling over the problem. “If we don’t sleep, we work,” he said.

JURGEN KLOPP has told his makeshift defence to prepare for West Ham’s aerial threat.

The Liverpool manager also revealed that knee injury-victim Joe Gomez could yet play again this season.

Klopp gave his word to fans that the search for a centre-half will continue right up to the 11pm transfer deadline on Monday.

Yet that does not solve his most pressing worry – how to deal with a crisis that now has Joel Matip and Fabinho ruled out, and a rampaging Hammers team ready to provide a bruising physical test tomorrow.

“It is true we need a top-class defender,” said Klopp.

“It is now a solution [needed] for Sunday for the West Ham game, that is how we see it.

“So, sort the problem we have now, that is how we do it usually, and then we’ll see how it will show up in the future.

“We have to do what we constantly do – find solutions.”

The solution for Klopp is simple. Avoid the clamour for his champions to prove their quality with perfect performanc­es and concentrat­e on the practical issues.

He knows that West Ham, who have reeled off six straight wins in all competitio­ns, will provide a stern challenge with midfielder Jordan Henderson filling in at the back. Klopp said: “To play your best season you need to be lucky with injuries, and we are not lucky in these moments. But still everybody expects us to play our best season.

“That’s OK but we only have to find a solution, win football games in any way and make the season as special as possible.” Centre-half Gomez is back in the gym working on his rehab and Klopp offered some promising news.

The manager said: “Joe is actually in a pretty good place but far away from being back. “He is not yet out on the pitch running or even [out of the gym].

“It was just injury as well.

“Will he be available this season? When does the season end, May? It will be close at least I would say, but I don’t ‘expect’.”

Makeshift centre-half Fabinho has “no chance” of playing against West Ham, according to Klopp. The Brazilian is likely to be out for another week. Matip is sidelined with ankle ligament damage but could come back against Brighton on Wednesday. a really tough

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 ?? Picture: STEVEN PASTON ?? Red-hot West Ham have racked up six victories in a row in all competitio­ns
Picture: STEVEN PASTON Red-hot West Ham have racked up six victories in a row in all competitio­ns
 ??  ?? THINKING CAP: Klopp needs to buy
THINKING CAP: Klopp needs to buy

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