(Reuters) – Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said on Friday he is reluctant to sell out-of-favour defender Dejan Lovren and complained that other clubs in Europe can continue to bring in players while Premier League sides such as his cannot.
Lovren is Liverpool’s fourth-choice central defender and is yet to play a minute of competitive football this season for his side, who visit Burnley on Saturday looking to make it four wins out of four.
Although the Premier League transfer window shut three weeks ago, players can still leave to join clubs in other European leagues until their transfer window closes on Sept. 2, and media reports have linked Lovren with a move to Italy’s AS Roma.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Burnley, Klopp said he does not discuss transfers in news conferences. Yet when asked about Lovren’s situation he said he needed a strong squad to help the team compete across five competitions.
“I need them all. When we played against Bayern last season (we were forced to play) with (midfielder) Fabinho at centre back,” Klopp said.
“This isn’t the moment for a lot of changes but after the international break that will change completely.”
The German criticised the disparity between the amount of time Premier League teams and those outside the English top flight have to conduct their business.
“The transfer business is a European business, or a world business,” he said.
“We have been used to Russia and China being open for longer but it’s different when the Spanish and the Italian leagues are still open because they are direct competitors, that’s not how it should be. We’re all set (for the season), we don’t like it.”
Liverpool won their last visit to Burnley 3-1 following a second-half rally after conceding the first goal and Klopp said he expected another testing scrap against Sean Dyche’s side.
“Turf Moor is a tough place to go. We have been there when it’s been hot, windy and rainy and it is always difficult,” he said.
“They do an incredible job, that is how it is. Last time was intense, we had a few discussions with (Burnley manager) Sean Dyche and we are both proper competitors. But it’s respectful.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)