sport

Rodgers: Reds want top players

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool will be in the market for 'top players', but insists money is no guarantee of success.

The former Swansea manager is enjoying an impressive second season in charge of Liverpool, who have improved on last term's seventh spot to challenge for the Premier League title.

Liverpool look all-but assured of playing in the UEFA Champions League next season for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign.

The prospect of Champions League football is likely to be a major attraction for potential new signings after Liverpool reportedly missed out on the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian last summer.

However, while Rodgers is anticipating having money to spend on his squad, he outlined the importance of having a philosophy for his players to believe in.

"Once you put your ideas in place and once the players start to crack it, then we will have success," said Rodgers.

"Money can't buy that. Teams spend a billion quid and it does not guarantee anything.

"We will be in the market for good and top players but there is more to it than that.

"The money is great and we will be in the market to compete but what is important is still having a vision of how you want the club to progress.

"It is about coaching and man management and dealing with people, having a great staff, finding a cause for the players to fight for.

"All of that comes into it and that is something we have done in the period I have been here. The players believe in it and the work has got them the rewards."

Yevhen Konoplyanka was a player Liverpool tried to sign in January, but any revived bid for the Dnipro winger is likely to be rivalled by Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Ukrainian club's president.

"I have contact with the Tottenham president. I am talking with him," Kolomoyskyi told Ukrainian TV channel '2+2'.

"He is interested in Konoplyanka. We are in the stage of negotiations and are perhaps close to signing a contract if Yevhen agrees.

"I would choose Tottenham - London - not Liverpool. There are matches only once or twice a week, and at other times he will still need somewhere to live. I believe London life is preferable to Liverpool."

Kolomoyskyi also blamed Liverpool for failing to seal a deal in January for Konoplyanka and he admits he will not stand in the player's way to move on.

"I talked with Konoplyanka. Of course, he had regrets, but [move to Liverpool] failed purely due to technical reasons," added Kolomoyskyi.

"I'm ready to let any player leave; we can't break his sports career. But on the final day, Liverpool failed to do a deal. They failed themselves. It was purely technical reasons.

"I'm ready to let go of any player because we cannot break a career, we cannot break players' destiny."