Rodgers upbeat despite Liverpool’s failed Konoplyanka bid

The Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk attacker was close to making a move to Anfield after lengthy negotiations on Friday but the two clubs failed to agree financial terms in time

Brendan Rodgers has insisted he is still optimistic that Liverpool can finish the season strongly despite missing out on Yevhen Konoplyanka.

The Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk attacker had undergone a medical with the Reds on Friday ahead of his proposed move, but the Premier League side were unable to agree a deal with the Ukraine international’s club before the 23.00 deadline.

The Merseyside outfit’s manager admitted he was disappointed that the club were unable to strengthen during the January window, but insists the Reds’ current squad is still more than capable of competing.

“I think it’s difficult in order to bring certain players in that are going to help us immediately,” he told the club’s official website. “The availability of the player, and of course the affordability, are always the two factors involved in getting a player in.

“It certainly hasn’t been because of a lack of work by the football club. There are lots of people who have worked tirelessly to identify and find the right types of players. A lot of those players haven’t been able to become available for us.

“Of course, as a manager, you would like to have strengthened – but I’m very optimistic with the group of players I still have available here. If we can keep those players fit, and maximise the availability for the rest of the season, we can have a great chance to have a really good finish.”

The 41-year-old then reiterated his belief in the current Liverpool squad, indicating his younger players will only get better this season.

“If you look at the position that we’re in with 15 games to go, we have shown consistently that we have the squad to compete,” he added.

“The benefit of the second half of the season is that there is still a lot of development left in a lot of our players. We have a lot of young players playing in the team who are growing and improving all the time.

“Them gaining experience and playing games, with the consistency of the team, adds up for a really exciting last 15 games for us.”

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