30 Jul 2016

Anfield Update: Klopp responds to LFC rumours about 'incredible' £27m attacker. Confirms transfer was never viable

Earlier this summer, Liverpool were linked with a move for Armenian attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who rejected a transfer to Anfield during Brendan Rodgers' reign. Mkhitaryan ended up at Manchester United, and Klopp has now revealed why the Reds missed out yet again.

When asked on Friday about Liverpool's alleged attempt to sign Mkhitaryan this summer, Klopp told reporters:

“I had that player [Mkhitaryan]. We didn’t look for players we had already worked with. You know everything about each other so how can you develop? Where is the next step? Where is the next push for development?".

Hmmm. Ignoring top-class players because of a prior professional association is (arguably) a flawed itransfer strategy. Football is littered with examples of players signing for their previous managers and then going on to be successful.

As for the tenuous idea that it's somehow difficult for a player to develop further under a former manager - that just doesn't make sense. For example, there's a big difference between working with a 20-year old, and then working with the same player six years later.

In any event, I don't buy Klopp's argument, especially in light of his recent effusive praise for Mkhitaryan. In April, for example, Klopp raved:

"He [Mkhitaryan] is one of the most talented players in the world [with] an incredible combination of speed and technique. There’s few you can say that about".

The idea that Klopp wouldn't want to work with 'one of the most talented players in the world' is (IMO) nonsense. If Mkhitaryan - who smashed in 55 goals/assists last season - wanted to sign for Liverpool, I'm sure Klopp would've tried to make it happen.

Alas, Klopp's management style alienated Mkhitaryan, so a deal was never on the cards. Indeed, a few months ago the Armenian barked:

"Klopp was a football madman: pressure and counter-attack. Tuchel has changed our lives. Now we command the game and I have more freedom to attack. Thanks to him I now make myself more useful.”

Mkhitaryan cost Manchester United £26m, which - gallingly - is £7m less than Liverpool paid for Sadio Mane. Who got the best deal?


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