It has been quite a summer period for Liverpool Football Club. The Reds may have missed out on immortality by losing the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League at the final hurdle, but they still enjoyed a fine season with two domestic cup wins. Fans were quickly given a remedy to the double dose of trophy losses, too, with the signing of Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan arrived from Benfica to much fanfare, and many reports suggesting that the player would become an all-time record signing for the club.
However, according to coach Jurgen Klopp, these reports are slightly wide of the mark. The figures which were made public by SL Benfica themselves suggested a fee that could reach as much as €100m. That would make him the highest cost signing in the history of the club. However, amid a press conference in Singapore during the pre-season tour, Klopp was asked about this.
He was asked by a journalist why the club had spent “nearly €100m including add-ons” on the player, and Klopp first addressed the fee. Klopp was also asked at the same time about comments made in 2016 in the wake of the Paul Pogba signing for Manchester United. At the time, Klopp made clear that he did not like – or want – to sign players in the €100m bracket. Now, those words look a little hypocritical. Is that fair?
What did Jurgen Klopp say about Darwin Nunez and transfer fees?
When quizzed on the above, the German responded in an intriguing way. His response suggested things have changed in the market – and that the fee being reported is not quite correct. On that front, Klopp said: “A lot, obviously a lot. These kind of things happen,
“The numbers [regarding Nunez] you are telling are not right, but it’s not a problem – I know which kind of number is going around in the world out there. When you want to sign a striker as exciting as Darwin is, that’s the market and you have to pay the price.
“As I said, it’s not the price you mentioned and not the prices going around, but it’s no problem.”
He was also clear that he believes Nunez will live up to whatever the end fee is with ease, saying: “I am not worried at all. The general judgement is 0.0 per cent interesting. And it will be like this, and we all know it’s a joke or a game for some people to pick out some situations where a player is not doing well,
“The only really important thing first and foremost is how I judge the situation for the player. I couldn’t be more calm about it. I am completely convinced about his potential. And actually what our people think, the Liverpool supporters in the whole world.”
Klopp also backed up his new signing and his ability to thrive regardless of the price, saying: “They should know now after a while that new players need time and get time, and we should be the first – all Liverpool supporters on this planet – who just delete the fee we paid. Just delete it, it’s not important.
“He’s now a boy from us and now we do absolutely everything to not only see the things we saw from him at Benfica; no, from there we go. This is the basis. And again, it is my responsibility to help Darwin that he can fulfil his full potential.”
So, what did Liverpool pay? Nobody is 100% sure. What we do know, though, is that regardless of the fee Liverpool are very happy with the deal they got.