Premier League • England

First Arne Slot signing at Liverpool revealed by Sky Sports man as departing boss Klopp defends FSG transfer policy

Arne Slot and Jurgen Klopp

Arne Slot has been told how he can get the best out of a Jurgen Klopp signing at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has thanked FSG for their financial backing while manager, claiming their policy not overspending like some of their rivals is “the Liverpool way”, while a prominent Sky Sports man has revealed all on the first signing his successor, Arne Slot, will make.

It was an emotional Anfield on Sunday as charismatic and hugely-popular boss Klopp took charge of the club for the 491st and final time as the curtain came down on a truly-memorable eight and a half year era. Having won seven major trophies and led the Reds to four major European finals in his time at the helm, Klopp will walk away from Merseyside as a bona fide Liverpool legend.

But before he walks away into the Majorcan sunset, where he owns a luxury villa, Klopp will have a special celebration in his honour at the M&S Arena in the city on Tuesday May 28, to be held by John Bishop and Peter McDowall, honouring his time in charge at Anfield.

After that, speculation on where Klopp will undoubtedly begin, though the German is adamant that his first priority remains in having a long holiday after an intense and trophy-laden stay on Merseyside.

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And while Klopp only won the Premier League title once while at Anfield, that total would surely have been more had it not been for the equally-brilliant Manchester City, who on Sunday won their sixth title in seven years under Pep Guardiola.

Knowing how much Liverpool pushed City on, the Spaniard was quick to pay tribute to Klopp, sending him an emotional message as the German bowed out at Anfield.

Klopp defensive of FSG transfer policy as he aims dig at rivals

Klopp spent close to £1bn (€1,137,215,000) while Liverpool boss on 89 players, though there are plenty who feel FSG did not back him enough during his time on Merseyside and they could have won much more than they did had he been given greater financial support.

However, Klopp is adamant that the club’s American owners got it right and suggests at a time when many of their rivals are feeling the financial squeeze and finding themselves at the mercy of Premier League charges over FFP rule breaches.

“I could say now, ‘yes, you don’t back me enough and I could have been more successful’, but I never saw it that way,” Klopp stated after bowing out at Anfield with a 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday.

“We had discussions about it, but I would have never brought these discussions in public. I didn’t want to bring any feelings to the outside world that we were not united.


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“If we had an argument then we have it internally, but outside we say: ‘Well, that’s our way, that’s how we do it’. I don’t understand it any other way.

“If it would help to invite the public into discussions. I am the first to do so, but it doesn’t help.

“For us, it is the Liverpool Way. We do it properly and do it the right way; we don’t overspend, we always spend what we earned either on the team, a stand or a building.

“This is a healthy club. You can say Barcelona are not healthy, but they are still up there. I don’t think we could do it that way.”

Klopp points finger at flatlining clubs

In Klopp’s final year in charge, he has witnessed Everton and Nottingham Forest docked points for breaches of FFP regulations, Chelsea placed under investigation and Manchester City at the centre of a probe into an alleged 115 charges.

However, Klopp has continued to insist that FSG were completely right to stay within their means after aiming a dig at rival sides.

“It is not an emergency case and you hear that beep beep beep and it is close to [flatlining],” he explained.

“It is really healthy, a very vital club with a wonderful training ground, sensational stadium, financially not bad.

“That is what I am most proud of, that we could manage that, with all the things that happen over the years, in crazy times, we never overdid it.

“These points deductions and stuff like that, it’s horrible.

“I am not sure they cheated on purpose but somehow they knew, ‘mmmm, it’s probably not 100 percent right but maybe we can get through that’, and obviously they couldn’t.

“I really like the way we did it.”

Sky Sports man names first Arne Slot signing at Liverpool

Meanwhile, Klopp became the first man from Liverpool to confirm the appointment of his successor Slot by breaking out into song about the Dutchman in front of a packed Anfield during his farewell.

In a move branded clever by some observers, it was a great way to get fans and players onside for what they hope will be a continued period of success under the Dutchman, who is expected to be officially confirmed at the Liverpool end either on Monday or later this week.

The departing Feyenoord coach has been chosen for the similar tactics and formations he plays, as well as his similar ways of man-managing his players; hopefully ensuring the period of adjustment is not as keenly felt as many expect.

In preliminary talks with Liverpool CEO of football Michael Edwards, it’s understood that Slot has recommended they target three new signings this summer, with a new centre-half, midfielder and another winger on their wanted list.

Scouts from the club are believed to have honed that winger hunt down to two names: Federico Chiesa and Crysencio Summerville, with both players potentially up for grabs this summer.

Their chances of a raid on Leeds depend almost entirely on the Whites’ prospects of winning or losing Sunday’s play-off final against Southampton at Wembley.

Reports on Sunday have also suggested Slot wants Liverpool to beat Manchester United to the signing of Benfica defender Antonio Silva, who has a £85m release clause in his deal.

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And while his signing could be done for considerably less, Benfica will expect a minimum £60m for their 20-year-old star.

Now according to Sky Sports man Dharmesh Sheth, the first signing of the Slot era will indeed be a new central defender.

“I think Liverpool with regard to their squad and the number of youngsters that have been blooded during the season by Jurgen Klopp is only going to help the new manager Arne Slot when he does come in. But looking at it from the outset, I think centre-back will be a huge priority for Liverpool going forward in the summer transfer window,” he told Givemesport.

With Joel Matip leaving Anfield this summer and with Virgil van Dijk soon turning 33, it is little surprise that a new top-class centre-half will be very firmly at the top of Slot’s wanted list this summer.