Anfield manager has warned the club must start spending big to avoid being cast adrift in the race for Champions League qualification
Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed financial rather than football reasons were behind Liverpool missing out on the signing of Willian.
And the Anfield manager has warned the club must start spending big to avoid being cast adrift in the race for Champions League qualification .
Only last week, Liverpool were considered in pole position for the Brazilian winger having opened negotiations with the Russian outfit over a fee.
An agreement, though, could not be reached, with Chelsea now poised to gazump Tottenham Hotspur for the player’s signature.
And Rodgers has given a glimpse of his frustration at missing out on another target with Liverpool having previously failed to lure Henrikh Mkhitaryan from
Shakhtar Donestsk or Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid.
Asked if it was for a purely football reason Willian is heading elsewhere, Rodgers said yesterday: “No, it wasn’t a football one and I don’t really want to go into it… that’s for us as a club really.
“The bottom line is he hasn’t come here for whatever reason and we move on.
“We identify the targets and then try and get the deal done financially. That’s how it was. The club has pushed financially as hard as they felt they could but it wasn’t to be.
“It’s disappointing because this was a player who would have been perfect for us.”
Rodgers added: “The biggest thing you need as a Liverpool manager is perseverance.
“We expect to be the best we possibly be, but that means getting the best players. It’s not just any player, but the right player. Where they can, the owners will finance that.
“Who makes the call ‘we’re out’? That’s obviously beyond me. It’s the owners’ money and they will always have the final say because it’s they who run the club.
“I can push and do everything to get the player in, but it’s their money.”
Missing out on Willian with less than a fortnight before the transfer window closes on September 2 has raised fears of a repeat of last summer, when Rodgers was left short of attacking options after the Anfield board refused to release funds for the signing of Clint Dempsey.
The manager is loathe to criticise Fenway Sports Group , who have made significant funds available to snare a marquee signing.
But with their near rivals now spending heavily, Rodgers believes Liverpool have to splash the cash if they are to maintain a genuine top-four challenge.
“I think the owners will spend the money,” he said. “They are ambitious for the club to progress and get into the Champions League places, and we also know in order to not get left behind you have to spend money.
“That’s rightly important, to get quality in to help you progress, and the owners want to do that. We just need to make sure we can compete and get some players in.
“What they have taken on here is a huge job. You have seen over the few years they will finance a project we are trying to develop and what we have to make sure of is we get the right players and the value and worth of the player is right.”
Asked if Liverpool were too ambitious with their targets, Rodgers added: “Not necessarily too ambitious but there is a demand here to always get the best and you can’t always.
“There are obviously unrealistic targets but we have to do our best to get the best players we can here.
“We can’t accept defeat or excuses, that’s not the standard here, so we will have to keep plugging away and get best players we can.
“We’ve sat down with the recruitment guys, working tirelessly really, so we hope to unearth something before the window shuts.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers has stated Real Madrid will receive no encouragement from Liverpool over a bid for Luis Suarez with rumours Tottenham want to sign Karim Benzema as part of the deal to take Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu.
“It’s very difficult at this time, we are trying to get one or two more quality players in through the door,” said Rodgers.
“If we lose Luis at this stage… there might have been a point a few months ago where there was time to do it, but with 11 days to go it would be difficult to replace him.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of activity in these last number of days. It is what it is, we will deal with it like we have during the summer. We’ve had no further bids for Luis, though.”