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The manager is keen to add "one or two top players" rather than a plethora of squad members as the club prepare to return to the Champions League for the first time since 2009

Brendan Rodgers has stressed the importance of Liverpool signing "one or two top players" rather than several rotation options as the club prepare to return to the Champions League.

The Reds missed out on the Premier League title on the final day of the season but still finished second to cap a remarkable rise from their seventh-placed finish the year before, and now return to Europe's top table for the first time since 2009.

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Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes Champions League qualification will benefit the club's efforts in the transfer market, and Rodgers is keen to sign players good enough to make a splash in Europe.

"For me, it's about planning," Rodgers told the club's official website. "We have the core of the squad now.

"Two years ago, when I came in, I was looking to introduce new ideas but a lot of the players weren't there because of the European Championship.

"That affected the start of the season. At least this summer we have the principles bedded in place and the players that come in will be the profile we want. It should be better for us this summer.

"I don't want to put a figure on how many but I would rather have one or two absolute top players than seven that might not help us.

"It's about the quality. We can't be going into the Champions League this year with doubts about players. We have to be going in knowing what the players' capacity to play is and their capabilities."

The Reds have seen a £20 million bid for Adam Lallana rejected by Southampton, and have been told to cough up in the region of £30m if they are to land their man.

England boss Roy Hodgson has called for the futures of Lallana and club-mate Luke Shaw to be resolved before they head to the World Cup, and Rodgers admits he hopes to tie up certain deals as soon as possible.

He added: "Ideally you would want to get things done beforehand but it is difficult because transfers are so complex.

"The World Cup does make it difficult but the club and ourselves have been preparing for quite a few months now so we will try and get the business done as early as we can."

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