Klopp hoping to keep Liverpool's title-winning squad intact

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp
Image: AFP/PAUL ELLIS

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says 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.

Meanwhile, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson sent a text message to congratulate old rival Kenny Dalglish after Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a top-flight title, the former Liverpool boss has said.

Both Scots are icons at their former clubs.

Ferguson, who managed United from 1986 to 2013 and famously declared he wanted to knock Liverpool of their perch, led his team to 13 Premier League trophies, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles.

Dalglish, who first played for and subsequently managed Liverpool, won three European Cups, eight First Division titles and two FA Cups during his time at the club.

"He (Ferguson) contacted us to say congratulations by the modern medium," Dalglish said.

"You go through the older generation – Fergie at Manchester United, Brian Kidd, Mike Summerbee; all the old foes who went through football at the same time as us – and at the end of the year you sent a letter of congratulations to say well done.

"That continues through. It is a great compliment. You are in competition and rivals, but you are magnanimous enough to send a letter saying congratulations. Everyone is in the same game, aren't they?"

Liverpool won the title after second-placed Manchester City were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea on Thursday, leaving the new champions with an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games left.

Dalglish, the last manager before current boss Klopp to win the league with Liverpool, also praised skipper Jordan Henderson, who he signed from Sunderland during his second stint at the Merseyside club from 2011-12.

"He was determined to be a success in football. He's the only Liverpool captain who will have lifted this trophy but also the Club World Cup as well," the 69-year-old said.

- Reuters

 

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