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Lawrenson fears for Liverpool title bid over lack of transfer funds

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has big fears for the club over their financial problems.

The club's owners lost £42.6m last year and he is worried that could affect their ability to buy new players.

"One or two of the top clubs are already doing the business, and buying players," Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

"If Liverpool have to wait they're already going to be behind the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea."

Lawrenson added it would be a "great blow" to the Anfield side if they started next season with a weaker squad than this year "because that isn't going to win the Premier League".

Liverpool have already seen long-term target Gareth Barry sign for Manchester City for £12m and there are concerns that the financial situation could lead to them missing out on other high-profile targets.

"If Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City are after the same players as Liverpool it's going to be extremely difficult," said Lawrenson.

"We're already hearing that Chelsea have a new manager and Abramovich might bankroll Ancelotti with money to spend, Manchester United will be buying players, Arsenal will also be in the market and Man City will be busier than anyone.

"The great problem is that it looks at the moment as if Liverpool are going to have to sell quite a few players just to get the two or three very high profile match-winners in."

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