• Manager agrees with Gerrard that more experience is needed
• Claims there is no conflict with owners over transfer policy
Brendan Rodgers has said there is no conflict between the dressing room and the owners over transfer policy but admitted he shares Steven Gerrard's and Luis Suárez's desire for a squad with greater experience at Anfield.
The Liverpool manager wants to add leaders to "a quiet team" and is concerned that a squad that required strengthening in January is lighter than when the transfer window opened, with Joe Cole and Nuri Sahin gone and Daniel Sturridge the only incoming player.
Rodgers would relish the opportunity to sign Wesley Sneijder from Internazionale but the midfielder would have to accept a drastic reduction to his current salary of £6.5m a year after tax and Fenway Sports Group would have to be willing to sign a 28-year-old. At present the 24-year-old Oussama Assaidi is their oldest purchase since Rodgers was installed as manager.
Last week Gerrard revealed he disagreed with a policy of signing young players only and Suárez, in a comment largely overlooked amid his confession to diving against Stoke City, told Fox Sports Argentina: "My mentality is that with young players, you win games; with experienced players, you win championships."
The captain's comments prompted Ian Ayre, Liverpool's managing director, to defend a transfer policy that he insisted was "an aspiration" and not "set in stone". Ayre also claimed exceptions could be made for a player who "can contribute to the group and is over that sort of age limit" and that Liverpool "have probably got the best balance in terms of any team in the league".
Rodgers, however, denies there is a divide between the playing staff and club executive over what Liverpool require. "I don't see it as that," he said. "Ian's comments have come from looking at the squad. We have got some experienced players in there and we have younger players to develop. Ian is looking over the longer term. But Steven and Luis are right. It's what I said all the way along; you need to have balance in your group. That experience is important.
"If you are going to be up there fighting for titles, you have to have the seniority and the type of character mixed in with young players and develop it. That is something as a club we have to work towards. Hopefully in the next couple of years we can work towards that."
The Liverpool manager, whose side host Norwich City on Saturday, admitted transfer policy has been a source of frustration with FSG. "We will disagree and we have disagreed before, and we have moved on," he said. But while accepting his brief to develop a young team, Rodgers believes Manchester United's £24m purchase of the 29-year-old Robin Van Persie underlines the value of an older head.
"I was given a job at one of the biggest clubs in the world," he said. "That is never always going to be easy but the owners have been brilliant. They have given me some money to spend and we have brought in young players with that. There is no doubt that they want to look at young players, those who can develop for the next seven to 10 years. But I think it is healthy not to agree. I have not got to where I am at such a young age by saying yes all the time.
"If you ask any manager, they will always look for a young player they can develop. But there are certain times when you need that experience. Look at Van Persie. You bring him in at 29 and there is absolutely no question that he reinvigorates Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes. He also gives the young players something too. If we bring in an experienced player of the right quality and the right sort, there is absolutely no question it gives Steven Gerrard a boost that he needs. Luis Suárez, Daniel Agger and the young players would feed off it. That is the importance of it."
Rodgers believes Liverpool's defeat at Old Trafford last Sunday demonstrated their over-reliance on Gerrard for leadership. He added: "It is a quiet team, I have got to say that. There are some terrific characters in it and some wonderful players but it is a quiet team and that is something we will have to improve on. You can't be too kind because kindness can kill you."