Dalglish coy about summer strengthening

by AFP on May 21, 2011

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Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists he will only recruit this summer if any potential new signings are stronger than his current side.

Dalglish takes his squad to face Aston Villa on Sunday with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll expected to lead the line against Gerard Houllier's men.

The former Liverpool manager is not expected at Villa Park for the visit of his old side as he continues to recover from a health scare.

He is therefore likely to miss watching Liverpool's January signings wreak havoc with the 57.8 million euros the club paid for Suarez and Carroll in January starting to look like a bargain.

That has raised hopes that a frantic summer of buying is about to commence at Anfield but Dalglish has dampened down any idea that he will spend ridiculous sums of money once the close season arrives.

"If we're bringing anyone in they've got to be better than what we've got - and that's going to be a big ask," he said.

"The people we'll be looking at are of the highest calibre, because the players here have done really well since January.

"It would be disrespectful to them for us not to be looking at a higher level.

"We've had a great end to the season. There will be lots of work done in the close season and we'll take it from there."

Dalglish acknowledges that bringing in a plethora of players can cause a dressing room to wobble until the new arrivals settle in but that is a price he is willing to pay - if the right man comes along.

"Although it might affect them, players themselves expect new faces to come in and give the place a lift. It'll happen and they know it'll happen," he added.

"If we get some quality people in to go along with the people already here that will help everyone - it always helps to freshen up the dressing room."

Villa's preparations for this encounter have been added a sombre touch by the fact Jean Makoun has had to fly back to his native Cameroon after his family were in a car accident.

The wife of Makoun, 27, and one of his five children were involved, however neither suffered any injuries.

The former Lyon player has been given permission to fly back to Yaound.

Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister said: "Jean has been forced to go back to Cameroon because his wife and one of his children have been involved in a car accident.

"They are both fine but just in a wee bit of shock. But Jean has asked for permission to go back to home which we've given him and obviously he can stay over there because the season is at an end after this weekend."

"They have been to hospital and they are fine, and there are no injuries, but they are just a wee bit rattled.

"So Jean will be the only one who is missing against Liverpool and we will be picking from a full pack of players otherwise."

Liverpool will be without Steven Gerrard (groin), Daniel Agger (knee), Martin Kelly (hamstring) and Fabio Aurelio (thigh) while Villa have no injury concerns.