Jurgen Klopp says the ballooning transfer fees in football will not inhibit the work Liverpool want to do in the summer window, but the club will recruit surgically and not for the sake of appearances.
The Reds have already surpassed their record spend with the initial £36.9 million signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma, and have been foiled in their efforts to make RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita one of the biggest purchases in Premier League history.
Another proposal for the Guinea international will not materialise unless Die Roten Bullen alter their hardline stance.
Liverpool, meanwhile, were prepared to make Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world, before having to publicly apologise and end interest in Klopp’s priority rearguard target due to a tapping-up fiasco.
Saints maintain that the 26-year-old is not for sale, but Liverpool will be primed should they decide to do business rather than keep an unhappy player.
The Merseysiders, who have also added Under-20 World Cup winner Dominic Solanke and left-back Andy Robertson to their roster ahead of 2017-18, have demonstrated a willingness to sanction huge outlays this summer for players they are confident will enhance their approach.
“We are not afraid of big numbers at the club, we are not afraid to spend,” Klopp told Goal as part of an exclusive interview.
“But we have to do the right things, look at the right players and negotiate with the right clubs.”
The 50-year-old explained the club’s strategy in the window as Liverpool look to further advance in the new campaign, having finished in the top four during the German’s first full season in charge at Anfield.
“There’s two possibilities to strengthen the squad: one is to get better players, the other is to get players with similar quality to what you have,” Klopp said.
“It’s difficult to get better players, because the ones we have are already really good. If you get the same quality, then the age group that they’re in means that very big steps are possible for everyone - the new players and the ones already at the club.
“That’s what then gives the push in the performance, that’s what we’re looking for.”