Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been taken aback by the transformation of the transfer market in recent years but has no qualms with the amount of money the Reds parted with to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, insisting that the price of a player does not really matter in these exorbitant times.
The Merseysiders smashed the world transfer record for a defender when they signed Van Dijk for £75m earlier this week. The fee for a player who has had a rather stop-start, acrimonious 12 months is another sign of just how bizarre the transfer market has become in recent seasons, but Klopp has seemingly adopted an 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach if his last few buys are anything to go by.
"I'm surprised by developments recent years," Klopp said in his press conference. "The past few months changed pretty much everything. It's all about how the market is, the last thing I think about now is price. That's the market, we have to adapt to how it is."
It remains to be seen if Liverpool dip into the market again in January - the Reds have been urged to sign a new goalkeeper and are said to be interested in Stoke City's Jack Butland - but they also have a number of fringe players who are of interest to Premier League clubs.
Andrew Robertson, Ben Woodburn and Daniel Sturridge are just three of a whole host of players who have been linked with a move away from Liverpool in January, but Klopp is keen to make sure his squad are adequately equipped to challenge both domestically and overseas before parting with any of his forgotten men or signing others; German outlet Bild claim that the Reds have beaten Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona to the signing of Leon Goretzka on a free transfer, with an announcement expected soon.
"We have to make sure we have the squad that we will need for the rest of the season," Klopp said. "Agreements usually last for the whole season but for young players it's a bit different. We'll put the club's interests first."
Klopp may have food for thought when it comes players' futures next month, but for now his primary focus is getting his injured contingent fit ahead of the business end of the season.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss confirmed that Jordan Henderson is closing in on a return after suffering a hamstring problem against Arsenal, and he also revealed that Alberto Moreno may return to face Manchester City after suffering an ankle problem last month.
"Hendo starts running outside today," said Klopp, who will hope for another comfortable home win when Liverpool host Leicester City on Saturday (30 December). "He's in a good way. I don't want to set a date because it could pressure him. We must wait."
On Moreno, who has not featured since the 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow in the Champions League, Klopp said: "He's quickest healer in the squad but after the next 3 games he could be back."