Soccer

Liverpool urged to make ambitious bid for Tottenham star Harry Kane this summer

Liverpool: Are they in a battle for top four spot?

Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has told the club’s owners to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ after their hopes of retaining the Premier League title were left in tatters. The Reds’ 4-1 defeat to Manchester City means they find themselves 10 points behind the league leaders, having played a game more.

The result all but ends their ambition of winning another top-flight crown, with manager Jurgen Klopp instead suggesting the aim was to hold on to a top-four place.

“That is of course our main target, that is clear,” Klopp said. “We will try everything.

“There is enough games to play to secure that – but we have to win games and tonight we didn’t.”

Roy Keane blasted Liverpool for being ‘bad champions’ but Collymore has said that there are a number of factors behind their slump.

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“Liverpool have had dreadful injuries to contend with this season, including their key defender, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and playing with a concertinaed fixture list, too,” he wrote in his Mirror Sport column.

Despite that, he has said that owners FSG must back Klopp in order to keep apace with City, with Harry Kane touted as a possible dream transfer.

He added: “That said, they do need to wake up and smell the coffee, which means owners FSG spending money to go toe-to-toe with City in that period.

“It means that if City go out and buy Erling Haaland this summer then Liverpool must buy the next Robert Lewandowski or even put in a bid for Harry Kane.

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“What they can’t do is just say, ‘We have a really good XI, some youngsters coming through, and we can maintain our challenges that way’, because there are too many other teams with the money to make sure that won’t be the case.”

The man he would likely replace would be Roberto Firmino, the forward has struggled for goals this season, but has claimed Klopp will refuse to let his players’ heads drop.

“He is never negative,” said the Brazilian. “He’s never let our heads go down, he’s always been motivating the team, letting us know what we are capable of, what we demonstrated last year and for us to look ahead.

“He knows what we can achieve.”

On the injury front, Firmino added: Firmino added: “It’s difficult, isn’t it? Unfortunately in football injuries are something that can always happen. It has affected us, of course.

“It was a great loss to our team to lose three great players in Virgil, Joe and (Diogo) Jota before Joel as they are all players who contribute a lot and show what they’re capable of. But we’re not negative about this.

“We always aim to think about the players available in the squad and look to do our best with the players we have. Always thinking positively, believing in our potential and what we can achieve.”

Liverpool now have a welcome break in midweek, before another tricky looking encounter with third placed Leicester City.

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