Jurgen Klopp has admitted it will be “almost impossible” for Liverpool to finish in the top four this season.
Liverpool gained a much needed three points with victory against Wolves on Monday, which was just their fourth win in the Premier League since Christmas.
It moved them to within five points of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, who currently occupy the final Champions League spot, but Klopp thinks Liverpool face a difficult task to qualify.
“I like to be an optimist, but in the league it is almost impossible to qualify in the competition for the Champions League places that we have,” Klopp told German newspaper Bild.
“At Tottenham, Gareth Bale is now playing again, and they are also in the running. Plus (Manchester) City and United, who are far away.
“Chelsea is on the rise. Reaching Champions League qualification through the league will be difficult, we know that.”
Liverpool, who overcame RB Leipzig to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals earlier this month, know that winning the competition would provide an alternative qualification route if they are unable to move into the top four spots.
Klopp also is conscious that failure to qualify would mean a significant reduction in revenue at a time when all clubs, to varying degrees, have been impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the 53-year-old is not concerned about his future at Anfield, regardless of where Liverpool finish this season.
“You don’t usually win the Champions League itself in a year with injury worries as big as we have,” Klopp added.
“Then in the worst case it will be next year: no Champions League, maybe Europa League, although that is not guaranteed either.
“It would mean a huge financial loss. I am aware, in almost all football clubs in the world, I would be questioned in a situation like our current one.
“This is completely normal, reality, the business. I would accept that immediately.