Premier League • England

Liverpool transfers: Klopp in five-word update on Alexis Mac Allister as Bellingham failure is bullishly swept aside

Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton celebrates a goal against West Ham in the Premier League clash at the London Stadium

Jurgen Klopp has refused to dilvuge exactly how far along Liverpool are towards the signing of Alexis Mac Allister amid claims a deal is edging closer for the Brighton midfielder.

The Reds boss are preparing for what is their most important summer in years. A season of decay, somewhat, has set in at Anfield with the Reds finishing trophyless and falling off their lofty perch. For a side who came a few games short of winning the Quadruple last season, their failure to at least finish in the top four illustrates the problems that persist.

And while finding the right combination in his new-look attack has been an issue, it is other areas of the pitch that are causing more alarm.

As a result, Klopp will spend the summer trying to recruit as many as three new midfield additions.

Indeed, the Reds boss knows the engine room needs a serious shake-up. Further, he has a number of positions in the area to fill with James Milner the first star set to seal a move away with a deal all but done and the star blown away by his next club.

Others will leave too, however. Arthur Melo will be sent, tail between legs, back to Juventus. And Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will both depart as free agents, with their Anfield spells failing to deliver on their initial promise.

As a result, Klopp has been linked with an avalanche of potential targets.

However, it is Brighton star Mac Allister who is emerging as a serious target. To that end, Fabrizio Romano has revealed Liverpool have muscled Chelsea and Manchester United aside in the race for the World Cup winner.

READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano delivers huge news for Liverpool in £70m chase for Alexis Mac Allister

Klopp giving nothing away over Liverpool links to Mac Allister

The Argentina star is clearly enjoying an excellent season with 11 goals to his name from midfield. At 24, he’s a player who will only get better too – and he absolutely looks cut out to play at a higher level than Brighton can likely ever offer him.

As such, it is easy to see why Liverpool are honing in on his signature.

Klopp, though, is refusing to give anything away and would only offer a blunt five-word response when asked about the player.

“Nothing to say on it,” was his stock reply.

Klopp, though, is too long in the tooth to give much away when it comes to transfers. And with the doomed 2018 swoop for Nabil Fekir, he knows not to say anything on a deal until the ink is dry on their contract.

However, the Reds boss did offer something of an insight into their failed move for Jude Bellingham.

The England teenager has agreed a blockbuster move elsewhere after a move to Anfield was deemed too pricey.

Klopp, though, while not commenting directly on Bellingham, is adamant Liverpool will not be held to ransom over transfer targets.

However, in a stark reminder of their pulling power, he confidently boasts why they still retain a strong pulling power.

“If they are overpriced we cannot do it,” he said. “We cannot buy the player then.

“I am pretty sure we will bring in the players we want and those who will help us. I am pretty confident of that.

“You never know 100 per cent until they are signed but that (bumping up prices) is not new that some clubs might try that.”

Barber gives Klopp hope on Mac Allister deal

Klopp continued: “Let me say it like this: you identify a position and you have not only one option on the position. That means they should all be good.

“You might have a favourite but if the other club doesn’t want to sell or someone else will pay the price then we cannot go with it.

“But usually we got the players we wanted. The one thing is can we afford them and then they are here.”

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber, meanwhile, has offered another crucial update on Mac Allister. And he has indicated a deal could be done if the price is right.

“There are always going to be rumours when we do well and our people do well,” Barber told Sky Sports. “There will always be bigger clubs playing at a higher level, looking to take our best people.

“All we can do is perform at our highest potential. And we are confident we can keep our best people here for as long as possible. Nothing is guaranteed in football but we will certainly work hard to keep them here.

“We know it will happen [teams coming in for players] so we have to prepare the best we can in advance. We try to look at where we are possibly most vulnerable for outgoings. We’ll try to create the best environment we can for our players. so they want to stay here. Hopefully they will see that staying here is better for their careers than not.”

He added: “Every club is a selling club to some extent. Even the biggest clubs get tempted by huge offers.

“Our challenge, when we lose players, is to have players already in the door. Or to have some coming in immediately after them. We will continue recruiting as we have done and keep building for the future.”

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