Brendan Rodgers eyes Champions League positions with Liverpool

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits the club will have to at least give an indication they are capable of qualifying for the Champions League if they are to attract top-quality players.

The Reds have failed to finish in the top four in the last three seasons and that has undoubtedly impacted on the signings successive managers have been able to make.

Nine points currently separate them and fourth-placed Chelsea but Liverpool could strike a significant psychological blow if they beat Tottenham, who are only four points better off than them, at White Hart Lane tomorrow.

Spurs have shown over the last couple of years what effect the lure of Europe's elite club competition - combined with a healthy transfer budget - can have.

In the summer they signed two of Liverpool's major targets midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and forward Clint Dempsey from under the nose of Rodgers as a result of better financial backing.

The Reds boss knows he cannot compete with the money counterpart Andre Villas-Boas has at his disposal and accepts rebuilding for a top-four challenge may take a while.

"Over the course of the summer they invested something in the region of £55million net in terms of everything they were putting into the group," said the Reds boss.

"But it is not just in the last window, Tottenham have been building the group steadily and have worked their way up the league to become challenges for those Champions League positions.

"We are trying to arrive in that position and we see that what sometimes it takes in order to do that.

"Of course Liverpool want to be in for the top players and top talents and this is a club which will bring those players here.

"But obviously a lot of players want to be in the Champions League so if they want to come in here that is an area we want to get into in the coming years.

"We know we are not too far away and are very close to be arriving in that zone that we want to be in."

Rodgers' squad requires some significant arrivals in January but the manager has stated on several previous occasions he will not have a huge amount to spend.

But the Northern Irishman is hopeful alternative methods will be equally as successful.

"If you haven't got the investment you have to find other ways of doing it and that is where we are at the moment," he added.

"That is the challenge for us and one we are accepting.

"Globally we are looking at a way of working, can we be different in our way of playing, can we find a bargain somewhere, can we develop young players and bring them through?"

Rodgers dismissed as "irrelevant" the suggestion Tottenham had made a serious approach to him to replace Harry Redknapp in the summer.

He also stressed he could have signed Sigurdsson - who was asking for double the £30,000 weekly wage Liverpool were offering - had they wanted to pursue the deal.

But the Liverpool manager accepted they were priced out of a move for Dempsey after Fulham, unhappy at what they felt had been Liverpool's very public courting of the player, asked for £6million when he had been offered to other clubs for £4million and owners Fenway Sports Group refused to sanction the additional spend on a 29-year-old.

"I was very happy in my work at Swansea. Harry did a brilliant job there and for whatever reason they decided it wasn't to be and looked elsewhere," he said.

"Tottenham is a terrific club with a great history but for me this is a really unique football club and I've not regretted a moment.

"Tottenham have chosen a manager, they have decided to go down the route of Andre Villas-Boas and he will look to continue the great work Harry did.

"My only thinking and importance is on Liverpool."

On the two failed summer transfer bids he added: "It (Sigurdsson) was something that if we wanted to do it we could have done it but it wasn't to be and we moved on.

"There was an offer to sign Dempsey - he was obviously a player who had done well during his time at Fulham and I am sure the likes of ourselves and other clubs were interested.

"But the club felt they had done what they could to get the player and he moved on to Tottenham."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent