The upcoming resignation of sporting director Julian Ward, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, will have little effect on their recruitment efforts.
Klopp on Julian Ward’s exit
At the end of the season, Ward, who succeeded the incredibly successful Michael Edwards in the summer, will step down.
To bolster a team that has been hampered by the long-term injuries to attackers Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, Klopp has not ruled out making a deal in January.
“It was a surprise when Julian told me. Everything is good because Julian is fully committed,” stated Klopp. “But up until the day he departs, our work together will be entirely regular.”
“Everything is fine since we never have an issue and never will. He revealed it to me following the Southampton match, which was their final match before the World Cup break.”
“At the time, it came as a surprise. It’s acceptable that Julian made that choice. For the time being, it won’t have any effect at all.”
? Jurgen Klopp on Julian Ward leaving LFC:
"I was surprised when he told me after the Southampton game. It is his decision and that is okay.” ? pic.twitter.com/h4whSPszXD
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 23, 2022
Jurgen Klopp on Jude Bellingham as possible winter arrival
Klopp laughed when the name of Jude Bellingham, a top target for next summer, was brought up as a potential winter arrival.
When asked about comments made by former Reds star Jamie Carragher about how Liverpool needed over £200 million of new investment in their squad, Klopp did offer some insight.
He grinned and said, “It’s Christmas time, eh? “I’ll be honest: I have no idea how much money is involved, but I don’t have anything against investing.”
“We’ll have to wait and see what comes next. We don’t know, but I believe it will benefit us. January, you can guess in our condition that we are looking, but if something will happen, we will see,” he continued.
Jurgen Klopp’s reaction when asked on Jude Bellingham for January window ? #LFC@SkySportsPL ?⤵️ pic.twitter.com/eGkqODKAwU
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 23, 2022
Jurgen Klopp on injury updates and squad reinforcement
The injuries to Diaz and Jota have been compounded in the short term by the absence of Roberto Firmino, who missed the Carabao Cup exit to Manchester City on Thursday and is set to be unavailable for the next couple of games.
The midfield is an area of Liverpool’s team with long-needed work. Klopp hasn’t ruled out making another unexpected January signing as he did with Diaz over a year ago.
“In our circumstance, January is when we consistently claim that we are ready on the sporting front. It is as it is,” he continued.
“We constantly try to do with what we have, and nothing has changed. We keep an eye out, so if anything happens, we will know.”
For the Boxing Day trip to Aston Villa, Liverpool is poised to welcome back World Cup players Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Virgil van Dijk.
A few players, including Alexander-Arnold, were out of the City game due to illness. Alisson withdrew from the League Cup game so Caoimhin Kelleher could start. Van Dijk, the captain of the Netherlands, has only recently resumed training.
“Trent was ill, along with a few other staff members. We must thus exercise caution right now,” said Klopp.
“Virg trained now apparently entirely normally; aside from that, he will be there. Trent should be better; he only attended portions of the session, so we’ll have to wait and see how things go tomorrow.”