Pep Guardiola’s decision to remain at Man City has a wider effect at Liverpool, and both the club and Jürgen Klopp know things need to change in the near future.
Amid the chaos and euphoria of Saudi Arabia’s World Cup win over Argentina in one of the greatest shocks in recent tournament history, it would’ve gone slightly under the radar that Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year extension with Manchester City.
The legendary Spanish coach will now stay in Manchester until the end of the 2024/25 season, in a move that wouldn’t be music to the ears of Liverpool fans.
Guardiola has turned City into a winning machine since taking over in 2016, and barring Liverpool’s title win in 2019/20, City would’ve won the last five consecutive Premier League titles in a row.
In short, they’ve largely had a strong grip on the English football landscape domestically, and Liverpool have been the only thing standing between them and complete domination.
But Guardiola’s renewal at City has some wider side effects rather than just his prolonged stay at City. The fact that he is remaining in English football until the middle of the decade means that Liverpool, and by extension FSG, need to up their game.
The opening third of this season has been awful by recent Liverpool standards. The side that came so close to winning a quadruple just several months ago looks light-years away from being that same team.
There has been an inevitable hangover from coming so close to winning everything last season and only ending up with the two lesser trophies of the four. It’s also true that Liverpool have, in relative to their spend, been massively overperforming over the last couple of years. The club have been at breaking point in trying to compete with City, a football arms race that they cannot possibly win in terms of finances.
City have hugely outspent Liverpool over the years and FSG’s wealth cannot compare to City’s. One of the consequences of Guardiola’s renewal is now there is added pressure on Liverpool’s owners to back Jürgen Klopp in the next summer transfer window, and give him the signings he needs to properly compete again.
For many, for this version of Liverpool, the beginning of the end is in sight. This is particularly true in midfield, and Jude Bellingham has long been thought of as the club’s number one target in midfield. Bellingham will command a hefty fee and high wages, but the club need to sign him, no matter the cost.
Players will leave in the summer, and this will help Liverpool be able to afford Bellingham, but he alone won’t bring Liverpool back to where they ought to be, more signings in midfield are needed.
If Liverpool want to avoid the club stagnating, then Klopp needs to be backed with signings, and with Guardiola now officially hanging around the Premier League a little while longer, the pressure is now on.
The contract news from the Etihad Stadium simply means that FSG need to deliver transfer-wise despite their intention to sell up and move on, otherwise Liverpool likely won’t win another Premier League title until Guardiola does leave, in another three years.