Liverpool spend big in bid to dominate England and Europe
With Champions League football guaranteed and the title within reach, Reds plan for the future
LIVERPOOL have made it clear that they intend to cement their position at the top of the Premier League with a summer spending spree that will help the club establish itself as a force in Europe as well as England.
Having watched Manchester United fall off their perch in spectacular fashion this season, Brendan Rodgers has no intention of letting David Moyes's successor reclaim it from the Reds and he will be given plenty of backing in the transfer market this summer by the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group.
Liverpool's win over Norwich on Sunday not only extended their lead at the top of the Premier League, it also guaranteed them Champions League football next season. They cannot now finish any lower than third in the table.
It was "an achievement barely celebrated given the spiralling aspirations of a title challenge", says Chris Bascombe in the Daily Telegraph. But he notes that "returning to the European elite for the first time since 2009 was the immediate priority this season, another major step taken in restoring Liverpool's historic status".
Now that they are back in the mix, managing director Ian Ayre hopes they will be able to attract some of the biggest stars in Europe to Anfield.
Citing Luis Suarez's attempts to leave the club last summer in order to play in the Champions League, Ayre admitted: "It has always been tougher in the transfer market when you are not competing at the highest level... there is no question it opens up a few doors for us and makes it a little bit easier."
This season's success could lead to problems if new players are not brought in, notes the BBC, which explains that "Liverpool's small squad have benefited from not playing in Europe this season". It adds that the club's "main focus will be on defensive reinforcements".
Rodgers could spend more than £50m in the summer says the Daily Mail, which adds: "They are already scouring Europe for targets, with Dnipro's highly-rated winger Yevhen Konoplyanka – whom they failed to land in January – still well regarded."