Liverpool fans hoping for an influx of new players in the January transfer window should be braced for disappointment, after the club's co-owner admitted deals in the winter market are increasingly becoming an "anomaly".
Julian Brandt and Christian Pulisic were both linked with moves to Anfield 11 months ago, but neither deal materialised as the Reds exited January empty-handed.
The lack of signings came amid a failure to win just one of their nine matches in all competitions in January as Liverpool crashed out of the FA Cup and the EFL Cup and slipped 10 points behind eventual champions Chelsea in the title race.
In a new book about manager Jurgen Klopp entitled Bring the Noise, Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon admits Liverpool did attempt to improve their squad during the window but that the challenge of bringing in players during the 31-day period is becoming harder.
"I would regret it if we hadn't tried to bring in additional players," said Gordon in the new book about Klopp, according to the Liverpool Echo. "But we clearly did try. The availability of players in the January window is continuing to diminish, it's now an anomaly if you're able to do something.
"But showing discipline [in the transfer market] and staying true to your principles is really important, and that's one of the reasons we didn't add to the squad. We tried. And the same goes for all windows. We look for any advantage and opportunity to improve."
Whether a failure to improve the playing staff will be accepted by Liverpool's supporters during the upcoming January window is less certain, given the obvious holes within Klopp's squad.
Those gaps are particularly prevalent at the back, with Liverpool having already shipped 17 goals in the Premier League this season as their title challenge starts with a whimper.
Several former players have called on the Merseyside club to use January to improve the squad to ensure they finish in the Champions League places. Ex-defender Steve Nicol is among those who wants to see money, potentially recouped from the sale of Philippe Coutinho, invested in the back four.
"I think now they have to go all out and buy themselves a back four," he told ESPN. "The problem is they're going to have to overpay but if they don't do it they're not getting anywhere near the top four. I think Barcelona would still buy him [Coutinho] for €150m. The problem I have is Liverpool having to go and buy a back four, they're going to have to pay over the odds because it's January.
"How can anyone rationally turn around and say 'I trust Klopp to go and buy a defender'. Since he has come into the club they aren't any better than when he started. The Liverpool board are going to have to decide if they bring someone in, and a goalkeeper, to spot a defender."