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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool had no chance of signing Erling Haaland in January

Erling Haaland

Jurgen Klopp has rejected suggestions that Liverpool should have signed Erling Haaland in January.

The Reds paid £7.25m to acquire Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg, the club for whom Haaland scored 28 goals in 22 appearances in the first half of the campaign.

The Norway international's exploits in Austria made him the most in-demand young player in world football when the mid-season transfer market opened at the start of last month.

Manchester United were heavily linked with the striker, who ultimately opted to join Borussia Dortmund instead.

Haaland has made a magnificent start to life with the German giants, finding the net 11 times in seven outings - including a brace in a 2-1 victory over PSG earlier this week.

And Klopp insists Liverpool did not make a mistake in signing Minamino instead of Haaland.

“The difference couldn’t be bigger,” he said. “Erling Haaland made a perfect choice with Dortmund, and Taki made a perfect choice too.

“Dortmund needed a striker. Everybody blames Man United for not getting him, but we wouldn’t have got him - not that we tried. It’s as easy as that.

"He wanted a top team, as soon as possible, with an open space - Borussia Dortmund.

“That’s timing. I hope you know how much I love and respect the people at Dortmund, but it’s not that they made a perfect approach and did this and that, it was more they were there, had the space, No.9… ‘Here we go, you are 19 years old, want to play Champions League, top end of Bundesliga, so go for it’.

“Nobody else had a chance, I’m pretty sure, no matter what they say. Taki finds here a completely different situation. That’s normal.

“We have no problems, particularly in an offensive position, but we need variation at moments.

“Taki tries everything. Against the ball he is top class, but if you ask him, although he doesn’t say it, he wants to do what we want him to do. But we want him to do what he does naturally.

“That’s the time we need, and you lose a little bit of quality in that period until you fight back.”

Liverpool will be looking to maintain their title charge when they host West Ham on Monday.

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