Jurgen Klopp shrugs off Jose Mourinho jibe ahead of Manchester United clash
Jurgen Klopp sidestepped Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s mind games by insisting a big-spending close-season has not changed Liverpool’s ambitions.Updated: Jul 28, 2018 10:28 IST
Jurgen Klopp on Friday laughed off suggestions by Jose Mourinho that Liverpool’s transfer spending spree meant the club faced greater pressure to win the Premier League title.
Liverpool have spent heavily this year as they attempt to close the gap on champions Manchester City, splashing out more than 200 million pounds for Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Virgil van Dijk.
Mourinho said earlier this week that Liverpool’s transfer activity ought to increase expectation of a title victory.
“Maybe this season, finally, you demand that they win,” Mourinho said during United’s pre-season tour of the United States.
“With the investments you are making last season and you make now, that will probably be the record of the Premier League this season, a team that was a finalist in the Champions League -- you have to say you are a big candidate, you have to win,” added Mourinho.
Klopp, whose Liverpool side will take on Mourinho’s Manchester United in Michigan on Saturday as part of the International Champions Cup exhibition tournament, shrugged off the remarks on Friday.
“What can I say about that? Jose can say what he wants to say to be honest,” Klopp told reporters in Ann Arbor.
“I’m not too much interested in Manchester United. I’m pretty sure they will do business as well in the next few days, but we know about our responsibility.
“We feel responsible only for our fans, for our owners, for the supporters all over the world, nobody else. That’s the situation.
“We are ambitious, we never said anything different. We have to deliver - what that means exactly, I don’t know in this moment.
“But a big part of the job is to play football that our people like. That happened last year, probably the year before as well, and now we are in the situation where we want to make the next step.
“But the opponents don’t sleep. We know that. It means our life is not easier because we brought a few players in. We only feel a bit better prepared than last year. That’s all.”
US media reports say as many as 100,000 fans could pack Michigan Stadium for Saturday’s game. Klopp said Liverpool were excited by the challenge.
“It’s not often you get the opportunity to play in the second biggest stadium in the world. Especially when it’s America, I can imagine people like it. It’s an impressive building, it’s cool.
“It’s pre-season, but it’s United against Liverpool, so big game. People in America obviously were waiting for this game or at least 100,000 people were! We’re really looking forward to it.”
First Published: Jul 28, 2018 10:28 IST