£93million exit of the Gareth Bale to Real Madrid has impacted on Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers knows only too well the prospect of losing your best player usually doesn’t transmit the most positive of messages.
But the imminent departure of Gareth Bale is proving anything but negative for Tottenham Hotspur.
Instead, the mooted £93million exit of the Welshman to Real Madrid is helping fortify the Londoners’ squad, with Tottenham using the funds to bolster an already-bulging squad.
Anything less than Champions League qualification would surely be considered failure for Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane.
And his Liverpool counterpart Rodgers admits the windfall from Bale’s sale has impacted on his own side’s hopes of a top-four finish.
“The challenge is the same and this week hasn’t changed it,” says the Northern Irishman. “What it has done is reinforced the clubs that are already in there.
“Chelsea have won the Champions League and spent millions upon millions, Tottenham could spend up to 90 odd million and they are outside the Champions League.
“For us it is a huge, huge challenge, there’s no doubt about that. But I don’t want to be defeatist. We can’t accept that.
“It’s not that spending money is going to guarantee that (success), I’ve seen enough clubs make big signings for big, big money and it’s just not happened.
“There’s no doubt quality will cost you money. We just have to try to ensure we can get quality through the door and that will give us a chance for fourth.
“But make no mistake about it, it’s a big, big ask and a big challenge.”
With the September 2 transfer deadline now closing in, Rodgers is intent on bolstering his ranks despite missing out on Anzhi Makhachkala’s Willian.
A left winger remains the priority, although the manager admits he is pursuing another centre-back with Sebastian Coates this week ruled out for the majority of the season having suffered a serious knee injury while on international duty with Uruguay.
Rodgers is also keen for 20-year-old centre-back Andre Wisdom to go out on loan having broken into the first team last season at right-back.
“We are certainly looking for a player to come in at centre-back ,” says Rodgers. “For two reasons: one, to strengthen the squad and two, to allow some of our younger players to develop.
“I think to maximise Andre Wisdom's talent we need to get him some games and the idea is to get him out on loan.
“We can only do that if I get in someone with more experience to support the group.”
Of Coates, Rodgers adds: “I feel for big Seba. He has picked up a similar injury to what Martin Kelly had last year.
“It is probably going to rule him out for most of the season, which is a big problem.
“He's never given me a moment's problem since I came in here. This was probably a year where he needed to go out and play. This has unfortunately put an end to that.”
Coates’ injury has seemingly also concluded any suggestion Martin Skrtel could leave in the transfer window, with Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure – who both started Saturday’s win against Stoke City – the only other senior available centre-backs.
Napoli, led by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, continue to be linked with Skrtel, but Rodgers says: “Ian Ayre, our managing director, does a terrific job and he always informs me straight away of anything. I haven't heard anything.”
One move Liverpool have made in the transfer market this week is to sign Valencia's French left-back Aly Cissokho on a season-long loan.
The 25-year-old, who has one France cap and has previously played for Lyon and Porto, brings strength to a position in which Rodgers only had Jose Enrique to call upon.
“He provides competition for Enrique,” says the Liverpool manager. “He is a player with experience.
“A few years back he went for 15million euros. He is a player with qualities.
“The idea was to build a squad and to make it competitive. It was important to bring in someone so that if anything happens to Jose he can come straight into the team, and to fight for the position.
“Hopefully that will get the best out of both of them.”