Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Saturday his main focus is to ensure the squad that delivered the Merseyside club’s first top-flight title in three decades is not broken up in the near future.
Liverpool’s 30-year wait for their 19th English top-flight title ended on Thursday after second-placed Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea, giving Klopp’s side an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games left.
Klopp, who took charge of Liverpool in 2015, has overseen a period of sustained dominance, delivering the Champions League last season and the league title this year.
“I cannot promise we will dominate football now, nor do I know if it is time to talk about major upheavals,” he told German newspaper Bild. “But I know our goal is to keep the team together.”
Klopp, 53, believes Liverpool are not in the same boat as his former club Borussia Dortmund, who lost key players such as Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski in the seasons that followed their back-to-back-title triumphs in 2011 and 2012.
“The problem was that our (Dortmund) team was picked up by other clubs. That hasn’t happened here and now the team has been exceptionally consistent for two and a half years,” the German added.
Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is a transfer target for Liverpool according to British media reports, but Klopp admitted he does not envisage his side making a move for the English winger.
“The red jersey would look very good for Jadon. But I don’t think such a transfer will take place this summer. If he moved to Liverpool, I would be the most surprised of all,” he said.
Man City will give Liverpool guard of honour, says Guardiola
Manchester City will give newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool a guard of honour when the teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a top-flight title when last season’s champions City were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea last week, handing the Merseyside club an unassailable 23-point lead at the top of the table.
Liverpool’s first match since being confirmed as champions is at City’s stadium and Guardiola said his players would pay tribute to Juergen Klopp’s title-winning side.
“We are going to do the guard of honour of course,” Guardiola said. “We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way. We are going to do it because they deserve it.”
The 49-year-old added that he was already looking forward to helping City come back stronger next season.
“In sport you have to live in the future,” Guardiola said. “Never can you have one eye on what you have done. Never forget that we are an incredible club and organisation and what you have to do is learn.
“I think we know the reason why we suffered this season and we are going to try to solve it for next season.”