According to The Telegraph, Jürgen Klopp was told that Kylian Mbappe was not for sale and Liverpool opted not to sign a forward.
Mbappe scored 26 goals for the Ligue 1 champions in all competitions during the 2016/17 season as well as six in the Champions League, well and truly bursting onto the scene in spectacular fashion.
Liverpool were interested in signing the Frenchman but were told that he was not for sale.
The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe writes, “The club wanted to sign Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe last summer but were warned off. The fact a £103 million bid from Real Madrid was recently rejected means Liverpool are realistic about how high to set their transfer ambitions.“
With Champions League football all but certain to return to Anfield Road for the 2017/18 season, Klopp and co. will be unable to rid themselves of the idea of playing in Europe’s elite competition and this will apply to transfer targets.
That being said, some players feel that shouldn’t be the only reason to sign for Liverpool.
“It’s disrespectful to the club if you say the only reason you are going to Liverpool is for Champions League,” said Milner.
“With the history, the manager and the players at this club, it’s slightly disrespectful if the only reason you come is that. Maybe [the club is more attractive] but it’s one thing saying you are coming to play Champions League and another proving you are good enough to play in it. You have to come here and do the business.”
Klopp has been working towards establishing a winning mentality at Liverpool and Milner, even though he’s been criticised for his form at left-back, represents that mentality. The German manager is looking to eradicate from the squad those players who buckle under pressure and fail to lead the team forward.
Similarly, Klopp is targeting players that can lead and players like Virgil Van Dijk are perfect fits for the mould that the former Dortmund coach is looking for.
With Champions League football on offer, Liverpool can recruit footballers of a higher pay grade but aren’t looking for mercenaries in the way Chelsea and the Manchester clubs do.