Saturday, 8 June 2013


ABOVE: Kolo Toure has joined Liverpool after spells at Arsenal and Manchester City
We can still attract top players to Liverpool – I have no doubt about that.
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre
8th June 2013

By Kevin Francis

LIVERPOOL’s failure to clinch a place in Europe next season will not rule them out of landing big-name signings this summer.

That’s the view of managing director Ian Ayre who insists: “We can still attract the top players to Liverpool.”

Ayre believes the Kop club will not be hampered when it comes to attracting star names who, he says, will still be enticed to sign by the stature of Liverpool.

The Merseysiders finished seventh in the Premier League last season and many fans believe the lack of European involvement will pose transfer market problems.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have not even made it into the Europa League and last figured in the Champions League three years ago.

But Ayre claims this does not handicap them in the transfer market and points to the fact that they have already signed Kolo Toure from Manchester City.

They are also set to capture £7.7m Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas, 25. And Ayre believes this proves that they are still attracting the best in the business.

He declared: “We can still attract top players to Liverpool – I have no doubt about that.

“Look at the last transfer window, when we brought in Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Both had a huge impact on the team.

“As long as we continue to bring in players of that quality, we will be heading in the right direction.

“I have never been in negotiations with anyone who has said they don’t want to sign for Liverpool because we are not big or successful enough.”

Ayre also maintained that the signing of 32-year-old Toure from Manchester City showed there is no block on older players.

Rodgers was knocked back last August, when he tried to sign Clint Dempsey, on the grounds of age and cost.

But the arrival of Toure marked a departure from the club’s favoured policy of signing players under the age of 24.

Ayre said: “We’re focused on finding great young talent but we also need experience and leadership. It’s about getting the right balance.”