Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has laughed off Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho’s attempt to ramp up the pressure on him ahead of the new campaign.
The Portuguese claimed the Reds need to win the Premier League title after spending £175million on four new players this summer.
However, Klopp dismissed those suggestions ahead of the two sides’ meeting in Michigan on Saturday in the International Champions Cup.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has laughed off Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho’s attempts to ramp up the pressure before the season starts (Martin Rickett/PA).
“One of my biggest goals in life is to make Jose smile – it doesn’t happen very often,” joked the German.
“I don’t even think it is a mind game, I think it is normal. I would never talk about Manchester United if no-one asked me about it.
“I have no problem with what Jose Mourinho is saying, it is a free world and he can say whatever he wants. If he is happy about our transfers even better.
“We know it doesn’t mean you win (trophies) automatically.”
Asked whether he had to win the Premier League this season Klopp said: “I don’t think so.
“Do I get the sack if not? Depends on the football we play.”
With the world’s most expensive goalkeeper Alisson his fourth and likely to be final signing of the summer Klopp will be looking to trim his squad over the next couple of weeks.
Liverpool have opened talks with Besiktas about the sale of Simon Mignolet but other clubs are have also expressed an interest in the Belgium international.
The 28-year-old, who has three years remaining on his contract, fell down the pecking order at Anfield last season and Alisson’s £65million arrival cast his future into further doubt.
Press Association Sport understands talks have begun with the Turkish Super Lig side over a permanent transfer as the Reds will not countenance a loan deal.
However, Besiktas are not the only club chasing the Belgian and Liverpool are expecting others to formalise their interest in the near future.
Klopp continues to support Loris Karius, who replaced Mignolet as number one midway through last season, despite his two errors in May’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
Klopp continues to support goalkeeper Loris Karius (Mike Egerton/PA).
“We have a new goalkeeper and Loris Karius is still here. He is young enough to still have a fantastic career,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We don’t need 54 players and 20 goalkeepers but can someone come and ask us (for a player) for £4 – no of course not.
“They are quality players. We are not in the situation where we have to do something but if someone comes in we are always open for talks.
“There is nothing decided at the moment. I know it is part of the business that some players will leave the club but let’s see what happens.”
Forgotten man Lazar Markovic is attracting interest from a number of clubs (Nick Potts/PA).
One player who seems destined to depart is forgotten man Lazar Markovic, with the club opening talks with Greek club Olympiacos.
The Serbia international has not featured for the Reds since a late substitute appearance against QPR in May 2015 – five months before Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as manager.
Since then the 24-year-old, a £20million signing from Benfica by Rodgers in the summer of 2014, has had loan spells at Fenerbahce, Sporting Lisbon, Hull and Anderlecht.
Markovic is currently with the first-team squad for their International Champions Cup campaign in the United States but has played a minor role in pre-season.
The club would expect to receive a fee between £5m to £7m with Standard Liege and a number of English sides also interested after watching his appearances in pre-season.