Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he cannot explain Chelsea’s unprecedented “impressive” spending.
The Blues have spent over £400million since the consortium headed by billionaire Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over in the summer, with £140m of that outlay coming in the last 15 days with potentially more expected before the end of the month.
That is a lot more than Liverpool, who after buying Benfica forward Darwin Nunez for an initial £64m – which could rise to a club-record £85m with add-ons – and youngsters Fabio Carvalho (from Fulham for £5m) and Calvin Ramsay (from Aberdeen for £6.5m), have added £38m PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo as their likely only January transfer.
On whether Chelsea’s spending made the challenge for the Premier League top four more difficult Klopp, who celebrates his 1,000th match as a manager on Saturday, said: “Maybe. It may get probably even worse or better, I don’t know exactly how you want to say it.
“Interesting (the spending). I cannot explain it, I have no idea. But if the numbers are true then it’s impressive.”
Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group put the club up for sale late last year but appear to be now deviating away from that and looking for additional investors to buy a part share.
But that means Klopp’s next tranche of transfer money, which the American-based group has always tried to manage responsibly, is likely to be available in the summer as the club chase Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.
Asked whether Chelsea’s spending was a concern, Klopp added: “I don’t think Chelsea can do this in the same manner for the next 10 years – I don’t know, maybe they can.
“Other teams will have ups and downs and we just have to be there. I can’t see investment stopping in the future and that means we have to do it as well.
I cannot explain it, I have no idea. But if the numbers are true then it's impressiveJurgen Klopp on Chelsea's spending
“We don’t talk about now because it’s always slightly different, but in general. I believe in coaching, I believe in developing, I believe in team-building and using those things 100 per cent.
“Meanwhile there are so many good managers out there it’s crazy so they believe in that as well – and if they start really properly spending and do those things as well, then you cannot not spend or you will have a little bit of a problem.
“The moment you build a new team, it doesn’t mean you have to build it every year new, (you) give players the chance to make the next step.
“We have quite a few of them already here. Then a lot of things are possible again. That’s the plan for the future.
“It’s not worrying that other teams can spend, it’s probably a matter of fact. We have to react to that as well but not just to that.”
Saturday’s meeting at Anfield pits the ninth-placed hosts against opponents one spot below them, not a scenario envisaged at the start of the season.
But with this match representing only the halfway point in Liverpool’s season, and with the club 10 points off fourth-placed Newcastle with a match in hand, Klopp remains optimistic of a change in fortunes.
“We are here in a good position. I know that sounds strange because we didn’t play our best football but in general we are in good hands,” he said.
“So we don’t get crazy or whatever. We really know about the responsibility we have and we really try absolutely everything to try to bring us back on track and not worry too much.”
Nunez is expected to be available for selection after missing the last two matches with a muscle problem.