Jurgen Klopp’s men can guarantee their place in Europe’s elite competition with a win against Middlesbrough on the final day of the season. This would be the first time since the 2013/14 that the club has finished in the top four.
Although Mignolet admitted that the absence of European football helps retain freshness within a side, the Belgian was confident Liverpool can compete on both fronts next season.
Liverpool summer transfer targets
Liverpool summer transfer targets
1/10 Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool will be one of a host of clubs chasing the signature of 25-year-old Dutch centre-back Van Dijk. Injury problems have given Klopp a headache this season and while Joel Matip looks a good signing, Van Dijk would certainly be an upgrade on other options. He will not come cheap and it is thought that Southampton will demand as much as £50 million if Liverpool want to add him to their contingent of ex-Saints players. With Sakho on his way out and the club looking to make a statement, Liverpool will be keen but wary that any deal will likely depend on Champions League qualification.
2/10 Naby Keita
A difficult signing to pull off, but one that Liverpool are interested in making. Keita's dynamic performances in the centre of RB Leipzig's midfield have caught Klopp's eye, but also the attention of Bayern Munich, who are also monitoring the player.
3/10 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Somewhat surprising reports have arisen over recent weeks that Chamberlain will be a Liverpool player next season. A disappointing season for Arsenal has left their squad in disarray, and it is thought that the 23 year-old midfielder is seeking a new challenge. The player’s versatility across midfield positions is an appealing to Klopp, who will need added squad depth. Arsenal will not be keen to sell to a rival, but if the rumours are to be believed, Chamberlain has his heart set on the Merseyside club and a £35 million transfer could well be on the cards.
4/10 Sandro Ramirez
The struggling Spanish club will find it difficult to keep hold of the forward, 21, this summer as interest from Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham intensifies. Daniel Sturridge will surely leave Anfield in search of more game time, therefore vacating a spot for La Masia graduate Ramirez. 17 appearances between 2014-16 were not enough to keep him at Barcelona and, confident in his ability, he joined Malaga to prove his worth. After just one season at the club he has done just that, and could cost suitors just £5 million if suggestions of a release clause are to be believed.
5/10 Jonas Hector
A player Klopp will know well, the 26 year-old is thought to be a serious option with the manager unconvinced by Alberto Moreno. James Milner has deputised brilliantly this season but an out-and-out left back is a priority for the summer. Hector has earned 27 caps for Germany since 2014 and is known for his excellent positional understanding and for putting in accurate crosses. It is thought he would cost in excess of £20 million, which could be well worth it for a good player approaching his prime years.
6/10 Ben Chilwell
Also a target for Arsenal, Chilwell has been flirting with a move away from Leicester for some time and could well be brought in to compete with another summer left-back signing. Age is on his side at just 20 and he is considered one of the most promising defensive talents in England. His fee would unlikely exceed £5 million making him an attractive option for Liverpool.
7/10 Mattia De Sciglio
Another full-back option, the Italian has been linked with Liverpool for some time and it is thought that a move could finally materialise as he enters the last year of his contract. Milan will be reluctant to lose him for free next summer and could cut their losses by selling for around £15 million as their new Chinese owners seek to revamp the team. De Sciglio is an experienced player with 108 caps for his current club and 31 for Italy, and is able to play at right or left back; a valuable asset in any team.
8/10 Douglas Costa
The 26 year old Brazilian winger has gained plaudits for his performances at the German champions, yet the player stated earlier in the season that he is ‘not that happy’, presumably at missing out to Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben regularly. He would cost upwards of £25 million and have plenty of suitors, meaning Liverpool are simply one of many clubs he could choose from, although he did recently ‘like’ a tweet from a Liverpool fan about the possibility of him joining the club. There is also a chance that Costa is happy in Munich but is seeking an improved deal, which would come as no real surprise.
9/10 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The most speculative target on the list is Gabon forward Aubameyang, who became a household name under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund. Constant questions over his future are expected to culminate in a move this summer, and while his former boss will no doubt be interested, European giants Real Madrid are circling and thought to be his preferred destination. While the versatile Roberto Firmino has had a good season deployed as Liverpool’s first choice striker and Divock Origi a promising talent, they still lack a world class centre forward like Aubameyang. Dortmund CEO Hanz-Joachim Watzke stated earlier this year that the striker, who has three years to run on his contract, would only leave ‘for an outrageous fee’.
If available, not many clubs would say no to the chance to sign Isco. Klopp has reportedly identified the Spanish playmaker as his ideal signing if Philippe Coutinho joins Barcelona as feared. While this scenario is unlikely to materialise, Liverpool would need to soften the heavy blow that losing the talismanic Coutinho would deal, and the funds could be reinvested into buying Isco, whose contract expires in 2018.
"The Premier League is obviously a tough league and you need the energy to play week in, week out, but I think we have the squad to do that, so it doesn't mean that if you're in the Champions League you can't fight for the Premier League title,” he said. “Those two things can be combined.
"It's clear that it helps if you don't play in Europe, and you can focus yourself week in, week out, on the Premier League, freshen players up and play with the same squad every week.
"If you see how Leicester played last year, they played nearly every game with the same team. I think Chelsea are one of the sides with the least changes.
"These things obviously help, it's a demanding league, and everyone wants to play in it. But it is important because I think Liverpool's history shows they are fighting in the top of the Premier League and in Europe."
Mignolet has played a crucial role in Liverpool’s fight for the top-four, having kept a clean sheet in four of the side’s last five games.
Looking ahead to Sunday, the 29-year-old insisted everyone was “very hungry” to return to the Champions League.
"We've got the chance of getting in the Champions League, and everybody is very hungry for this in the dressing room,” he said. “Everybody wants to fight at the top stage.
"This year, particularly in the last few months, we learned to play against clubs that sit and defend, and play on the counter attack."Reuse content