Jurgen Klopp insists he has final say on Liverpool transfer decisions
Jurgen Klopp insists he has the final say on transfers at Liverpool despite his predecessor suggesting he had been compromised by a transfer committee, while also urging young striker Jerome Sinclair to stay with the club.
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Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claimed this week that buying a player had been "a group decision" and "certainly not a decision I would have the sole or final say on."
But asked whether he had the final say as Liverpool manager, Klopp replied: "Yes."
He told a news conference on Tuesday: "If I would say, for example, we would take Zlatan Ibrahimovic for, I don't know what his price is at the moment, but he is 35, no? He might even be out of contract, I don't know! But if you want him you have to pay £100 million, for example. I think I should have asked before signing him! But that's absolutely no problem.
"I said on the first day when I came here it's like I used to work. Sometimes my staff or myself have an idea about a player we know or we heard about and then we will collect some information together. Then there are players our scouts bring in and say we have seen this player, we have heard about him, we have watched him for a long time.
"But in the end it's like I said at the first meeting and the first press conference: If I don't want the player to come here, he will not come. And if the player I want doesn't fit our budget then he will not come too. That's absolutely normal."
Klopp also admitted he is powerless to stop Sinclair leaving Liverpool in the summer but warned that the striker would be better served staying at Anfield than chasing "the highest wages" elsewhere.
Sinclair is out of contract at the end of the season and the 19-year-old has rejected a new deal, amid reports that he is being chased by Watford and considering moves abroad.
Klopp insisted Sinclair is not quite ready for a bigger role and should continue to develop his game at Anfield, and he also had a message for those advising the teenager.
"As a club you can't make younger players happy -- it's not possible," Klopp said. "What we try to create is a situation where younger players know that it's not important to get the highest wages in your life in the first years of your career. It's more important to get a good education and that's what we try to do.
"I like Jerome -- he is a real talent and if he wants to stay with us, absolutely no problem. But we cannot force it.
"You need young players who want to learn and if we can create the situation where it's the right place to learn, that's good. First of all we need to offer education and training and the opportunity to work with the best coaches and players that we have."
Although Sinclair is the Reds' youngest ever first-team player -- making his debut aged 16 years and six days in the League Cup against West Brom in September 2012 -- opportunities have been limited for Sinclair under former manager Rodgers and now Klopp.
He scored his first Liverpool goal in the 2-2 FA Cup draw away to Exeter City on Jan. 8 and may feature in Wednesday's replay at Anfield. However, his agent Aidy Ward -- who fell out with the club over another of his clients, Raheem Sterling -- turned down the new contract on offer.
It comes with Liverpool desperately short of firepower and having to cope without strikers Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi.
Klopp added that he believes that player should be patient and is not yet equipped to "survive" against Premier League defenders.
"Jerome Sinclair is a very young player and he has skills, no doubt," said Klopp. "He is very good shooter. But physically it's not easy for him to survive in a central position in a Premier League game against 6-foot-4 defenders."
Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.