Alan Hansen says this huge sum is needed to turn Liverpool into title contenders

Paisley Gateway

The Reds legend believes that Jurgen Klopp would need to spend £200m to make his side competitive at the top.

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has made a bold claim about how far the club are off being genuine title contenders, telling the Independent that the owner's would need to spend £200 million on new players to compete at the top.

The Reds are currently eighth in the Premier League, nine points off even getting a place in the Champions League qualifying round, and have finished inside the top four just once in the last six seasons.

Defender-turned-pundit Hansen, who won eight First Division titles with the Merseyside club between 1977 and 1990, gave a damning assessment of how far off the pace the club is today.

He told the Independent: "These players are not going to win the league, so realistically they probably need five major signings. Jurgen Klopp will have taken the job already knowing who he wants to bring in. The owners have brought him in and now they need to back him, but the problem is the money.

"From what I understand Fenway Sports Group have told the manager it is not a bottomless pit. So the problem he might have is that the owners have invested so much already, will they be reluctant to do it again? They have spent a lot - £20m on Lazar Markovic,  and then he was sent out on loan.

"You could say they need to spend £100m, but where does that get you in today’s market? If they are going to have a real go it needs to be more like £200m – but you can’t just snap your fingers and solve the problem."

Hansen's worry about whether Liverpool's owners will sanction such a transfer fund may be founded, given the record of some of the club's recent big-money signings.

Markovic has failed to have any real impact in his time at Anfield, being shipped out to Fenerbahce on loan after just a year, Christian Benteke has thus far returned upon his £32.5 million fee with just six league goals for the club, and Mario Balotelli's £16 million move turned into a nightmare.

Something that would surely boost Klopp's financial backing would be if the German could win just a second trophy in the last eight years for the club by beating Manchester City in Sunday's Capital One Cup final.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch