Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he doesn't enjoy the fact that his club have spent £75m on a defender, but also conceded that there's no getting around paying a heavy price for the best players in today's game.
The Reds will have Virgil van Dijk in their squad from next month after finally agreeing over a move with Southampton. And while the Dutch centre-back is a very necessary addition, Klopp conceded that bringing him in for a world record fee is 'not nice'.
“It's not nice, but that's the market, that's the world. We have to adapt,” said Klopp, via The Telegraph.
“I'm surprised about the development in the last two years, let me say, because there were big steps. But the last half a year changed pretty much everything and we, as a club, cannot change that.
“Of course, not each club would be able to do it, but a lot of clubs are able to do it and will do it in the future. How the market always is, it's all about the need and the opportunity.
“If you want to sign a player, the last thing I think about actually is the price, to be honest – not because I like throwing money around, it's only because we are thinking about the player. There's one moment when you get the price and then you have to accept it or not.
“It's a big change in football in the last few months and years. We have to adapt to it. That's how it is. It changed already and it doesn't now mean that all transfers will now be in this category, but it's the same how it was before.
"Half a year ago, I think, there was a big transfer for an offensive player and now we have a big transfer for a defensive player.”
Liverpool take on Leicester City at Anfield on Saturday in their final fixture of 2017. The Reds visit Burnley just two days later, where Van Dijk could make his first team debut for his new club.