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Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: Clubs must 'adapt' to high transfer fees

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp admits he is concerned with the spiralling cost of transfers, but stresses that Liverpool must "adapt" after they signed Virgil van Dijk for £75 million.

Van Dijk became the world's most expensive defender on Wednesday when Liverpool and Southampton reached an agreement for the transfer of the centre-half, who will move to Anfield on Jan. 1.

Speaking about the transfer market at news conference on Friday, Klopp said: "I'm surprised about the development in the last two years, let me say, because there were big steps.

"But the last half a year changed pretty much everything and we, as a club, cannot change that.

"Of course, not each club would be able to do it, but a lot of clubs are able to do it and will do it in the future. How the market always is, it's all about the need and the opportunity.

"If you want to sign a player, the last thing I think about actually is the price, to be honest -- not because I like throwing money around, it's only because we are thinking about the player. There's one moment when you get the price and then you have to accept it or not.

"It's a big change in football in the last few months and years. We have to adapt to it. That's how it is.

"It changed already and it doesn't now mean that all transfers will now be in this category, but it's the same how it was before. Half a year ago, I think, there was a big transfer for an offensive player and now we have a big transfer for a defensive player.

"It's not nice, but that's the market, that's the world. We have to adapt."

Signing Virgil van Dijk is the first step towards rebuilding Liverpool's defence.
Virgil van Dijk's £75 million move to Liverpool set a world record for a defender.

Ahead of the January transfer window opening, Klopp was asked whether certain members of his squad would be departing Anfield.

While acknowledging there is interest from other clubs in some of his players, the Liverpool manager believes he has to put the club's interests above those of a player who may be on the fringes and seeking more game-time.

"The first thing we have to make sure is that we have the squad we need for the second part of the season," he added. "We had a good situation so far in the squad and that's what we need to have again in the second half of the season.

"Usually you make an agreement for a year. I know players have longer contracts and stuff like that, but that's how it is. Everything can happen in a big transfer window in the summer.

"We have a few young players [where] it's quite different, to be honest. We have to see what we do there. With all the rest, we will see that the club's interest is first, 100 percent. We need to make sure that we have enough players for different situations.

"The perfect situation is that for both sides it's really good or perfect for the player and the club. But if not, then the club needs to come first.

"We will see what happens. Nothing is decided so far. There's interest in players of us, but if we agree or not, no decision so far."

Meanwhile, Klopp has praised the courage of 17-year-old Rhian Brewster for speaking out his experiences of encountering racism. Brewster told The Guardian that football's authorities must do more to tackle racism in the game, with Klopp offering all the support the young Liverpool striker needs.

"He will get all the support he needs and wants and that we can give," Klopp said. "It's quite interesting to be honest, because I'm really long in this business, in this sport, and I've never faced a situation like that.

Rhian Brewster during a Liverpool youth game against Sevilla.
Rhian Brewster will have Liverpool's support as he speaks out against racism, Jurgen Klopp says.

"That means then, to a lot of people, actually you think it doesn't happen, but obviously it happens all the time.

"I'm really happy that he is brave enough -- and you need to be brave -- to do what he did. It's such an important thing -- I really can't believe people have these kind of thoughts still in their minds. It's so strange in this world that it happens.

"We needed a 17-year-old boy to show that it still happens and that it's happening all the time. We need to stop it. It's not a situation where you want, as a 17-year-old boy to be in, but we'll give him all the support."

Liverpool will continue to be without Jordan Henderson (hamstring) and Alberto Moreno (ankle) over the New Year period, although Klopp did set a rough timescale on the latter's return.

Klopp said: "Hendo starts running outside today, [at] which pace and whatever we will see, but he is on a good way.

"I don't want to say any date because on the one side it would maybe put pressure on him, which he really doesn't need, and on the other side it would look like we would not have the player for the next six to eight weeks and that's not true at all. We have to wait.

"Hendo is a rather quick healer, he is on a good way and is desperate to be back on the pitch, so hopefully it is not too long.

"[Moreno] is probably the quickest healer in the squad, but still I am not sure. He is [out of] the next two games and I think I should have to involve the third game as well [against Everton].

"Then we have around about nine days between Everton and [Manchester] City [on Jan. 14] and that could be the first [game] for him then."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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