Former Liverpool midifielder Ronnie Whelan has blasted Jurgen Klopp's side's dealings in the transfer window and believes the Reds have been made to look like amateurs by rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton.
Whelan, who enjoyed a trophy laden 15-year stint at Anfield between 1979 and 1994, sees "gaping holes" in the Anfield squad and is not sure if the Merseysiders have any money left to spend on new players.
Liverpool have parted with around £45m this summer, a rather paltry figure when compared to Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City, who have spent around £150m or more during the same period.
Whelan does not want to see the Reds draft in "crazy" signings before the window slams shut but certainly sees the need for fresh faces to arrive. Virgil van Dijk is Klopp's top defensive target, but Whelan believes Liverpool will not be able to sign the Southampton captain unless they raise funds by cashing in on Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho, who seems set to remain at Anfield despite handing in a transfer request earlier this month.
"With every new twist in what has been a pretty spectacular start to the new season, one thing has become crystal clear. Manchester won the transfer war. Hands down," Whelan told the Irish Independent.
"Set against the business Manchester United and Manchester City have done, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp look like amateurs. Worse, Ronald Koeman and Everton have been spending like they've found a money tree...
"I'm not saying that another crazy signing like [Mario] Balotelli is imminent but I am saying that Klopp is heading into the last week of the window with just two signings made.
"He has some gaping holes in his squad and by the looks of things, no more money to spend unless they take Barcelona's offer for Philippe Coutinho.
"I can only make that assumption from the fact that Liverpool were in the market for Virgil Van Dijk but don't appear to have enough to sign him which has been a bit of a theme all summer."
Despite Whelan's claims over Liverpool's transfer budget or lack thereof, Klopp's men are willing to break their transfer record to sign the £60m-rated Van Dijk but will not reignite their pursuit of the Holland international until Southampton make it clear that they are willing to sell.
Liverpool thought that they had struck a deal with Van Dijk earlier this summer, but Southampton were left fuming by the Reds' alleged illegal approach of their captain and reported their Merseyside counterparts to the Premier League. The Reds subsequently apologised to the Saints and released a statement announcing the end of their interest in Van Dijk, who submitted a transfer request a couple of weeks ago.