There are reports Liverpool will challenge Manchester United for Memphis Depay, but even when they've been in the Champions League and their rivals have not been, United have still managed to attract the marquee players.
Liverpool's interest in Memphis Depay now becomes a test of their mettle - mostly of the owners Fenway Sports Group.
Regular readers of Liverpool articles on HITC may have come across a piece I wrote yesterday about a change in strategy, and within that piece I mentioned the club's apparent reluctance to dig deep and pay whatever it takes to land top quality.
At 21-years-old he fits the criteria of the Reds' transfer policy in recent years - buying younger players. But given his impressive performances in the Eredivisie, where he has scored in excess of 20 goals to help his side to win the title, coupled with his impressive cameo performances during the World Cup for the Netherlands - and a reported rejected bid of £14.4 million from Tottenham last summer (per the Express) - whoever wants to buy him has to splash the cash.
There are a lot of factors against Liverpool here - the fact Louis van Gaal knows Depay well having managed him at international level, that United look more and more likely to automatically qualify for next season's Champions League, while it's unlikely the Reds will make it into the competition for a second successive season and will have to make do with the Europa League.
But United didn't have European football to attract players to the club this season. Yet they made a record signing in Angel Di Maria - a man who was a catalyst to Real Madrid’s tenth European Cup triumph - and Radamel Falcao. Though recently recovered from a serious injury, the Colombian was still regarded as one of the deadliest finishers in European and world football.
You can argue whether those two particular signings have been a success for Manchester United, but they excited the fans. Despite their terrible season previously, they brought in players who had done the business elsewhere - they had dug deep and paid whatever it takes to attract them to Old Trafford.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have been trying to do things in a much cheaper way. The odds are stacked against Liverpool landing Depay anyway, given the success of the club's respective seasons, but one thing Liverpool fans will certainly not want to hear is that they missed out on a player because they weren't prepared to pay the money.