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money talks I fear for Liverpool and the chasing pack next season if Chelsea and Man City flex their financial muscle

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League final

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League final

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League final

LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp will not have been concerned by what he saw in last weekend’s Champions League final.

Chelsea deserved to win on a night when Manchester City bottled it once again in the one competition they want to win more than any other. The truth is a full-strength Liverpool side would fancy their chances of beating both of them if the season was starting tomorrow.

I’m no fan of Chelsea. They are a club that have been dragged up from the depths of nowhere by a Russian billionaire who has enough spare change to pay off half of the world’s debt.

Instead, he used his vast wealth to turn football into a big-money game, in which only the stinking rich can really compete.

Manchester City have a similar story. Their success has been bankrolled by an Arab state, looking to promote their Abu Dhabi homeland as an attractive holiday location.

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Spurs Harry Kane will be high on Man City's wanted list

Spurs Harry Kane will be high on Man City's wanted list

Spurs Harry Kane will be high on Man City's wanted list

Football is being used as a vehicle for that aim.

However, despite having unlimited funds, City keep fluffing their lines in the Champions League – and it happened again last Saturday in their first-ever final in that competition.

City have developed this arrogant air about them in the last few years, having had plenty of success in domestic competitions.

But a club’s reputation these days is built on how many European Cups they have won, and the current table reads: Liverpool 6, City 0.

While I’m confident that a fit-and-firing Liverpool could finish ahead of both City and Chelsea in next season’s Premier League, what happens from this point forward could change that belief.

Liverpool should be trying to sign Harry Kane from Spurs this summer, maybe even Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain, but it is never going to happen.

Having just witnessed a season that saw his strikers miss chance after chance, Klopp doesn’t need me to tell him that he needs a top-class finisher to play in the Roberto Firmino role in his team.

Sadly, the top-tier players are out of Liverpool’s reach, with the wages that Chelsea and City can offer.

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While Klopp will be thinking that a team featuring a fit-again Virgil van Dijk and new signing Ibrahima Konate can give his team the defensive solidity they lacked in recent months, City and Chelsea could rewrite the game once more if they do what I expect them to do this summer.

No one will be surprised if Kane joins City. If that deal goes through, it will take Pep Guardiola’s side to a different level and push them clear of Liverpool’s reach.

Then you would expect Thomas Tuchel to be given a huge transfer kitty to work with at Chelsea. That would allow him to go after a world-class striker like Erling Haaland with the realistic hope of getting him from Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland might want half-a-million quid a week and would cost a whopping £120million, but moneybags Abramovich could fund that kind of deal if he wanted to. So don’t be surprised if they try and make it happen.

City, with Kane up front and Chelsea with Haaland leading their line, would be different propositions compared to the two teams we saw in this season’s Champions League final.

That is the great unknown as we head into this summer.

With the Covid-19 crisis leaving clubs funded by conventional means scrambling to cover their financial loses, Chelsea and City have a huge opportunity to use their alternative revenue streams to move ahead of the chasing pack.

Sadly, the heritage of the game’s traditional giants means little to players or agents looking to secure the best financial deal possible. We have seen that with Chelsea and City in recent years.

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Virgil Van Dijk played only five league matches before his season was ended

Virgil Van Dijk played only five league matches before his season was ended

Virgil Van Dijk played only five league matches before his season was ended

My dream as a young kid was to play for Liverpool. Pulling on that red jersey will always be the greatest moment of my life.

Yet the players who have signed for Chelsea and City this century had probably never heard of the two clubs until they were rebooted by billionaires and given a whole new look.

What Liverpool have in their favour this summer is a team of people running the club that boasts a proven track record in the transfer market.

The owners might not have the financial muscle to challenge Chelsea or City for the top players in the game, but they do have a manager and a transfer committee that have shown they are among the best in the business.

Sadio Mane, Van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota were all transfers that raised eyebrows for different reasons, but all four have proved to be sound investments.

Now Liverpool need to go again and make the right buys with the budget they’ve got at their disposal.

It’s easier for Chelsea and City to get it right in the transfer market, as they can buy proven world-class players. If they don’t fit into their system having taken them on board, they can simply go out and spend another fortune to get a replacement.

Liverpool and the rest need to be a little more cautious when making their transfer moves. They can’t afford to make costly mistakes, and I suspect they are already working on transfers behind the scenes to add to the early capture of Konate from RB Leipzig.

Resolving the future of Mo Salah is vital this summer, too. He needs to be tied down to a long-term contract – or else allowed to leave for a big transfer fee that would swell Liverpool’s coffers.

Anfield’s bosses also need to get Alisson and Van Dijk tied down to new deals, with money generated from qualifying for the Champions League next season covering the cost of those new contracts.

With captain Jordan Henderson coming back to full fitness and leaders coming back into the team, the confidence that was so badly lacking over the last few months could re-emerge as quickly as it evaporated.

The only concern will be what Chelsea and City do in the transfer market. They have the financial power to blow their rivals away this summer.

If they do, no one will be able to compete with them. It will become a two-horse race no one wants.

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