Brendan Rodgers brushed the Luis Suarez furore under the carpet as he accepted an honorary degree from the University of Ulster on Monday.
The Liverpool boss – accompanied by an entourage of club media officials – was protected from questions about the disgraced striker – who was sent home from the World Cup after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy on June 24.
Rodgers may have distanced himself from the controversy on Monday, but did confirm he would be active during the transfer window – fuelling speculation Suarez could be shown the door this summer.
The Anfield supremo said: “I think there has been a lot of work that has been done, if you look at us as a club and at our recruitment, well, we haven’t been resting over the course of the off-season.
“A lot of great work has gone on, we’ve targeted players, we’ve signed some and we’ll have more signings to come over the course of the pre-season, the idea is by the end of August we’ll have the squad together and it will be a really exciting time for us next season.
“The first priority will be to get the fitness of the players up to speed, we’re back next Monday, the fitness of the players will be a bit broken up because of the World Cup, obviously players will come back at different stages but first and foremost is to ensure the players enjoyed their break.
“They will come back on Monday and straight away we get into preparation for the first game of the season against Southampton.”
He remained tight-lipped about his transfer targets, even Southampton and England international Adam Lallana, who is expected to complete his move to Anfield imminently.
“Who am I signing? I wouldn’t tell you. I would love to stand here and tell you.
“We still have signings to make to ensure we have the squad strength to cope, obviously returning to the Champions League is fantastic for the club and for the supporters but we’re into four competitions next season and we want to do really well and that’s going to take a few more signings to bring in and as soon as we sign them you will know.”
Rodgers visited family in Carnlough at the weekend before accepting his degree for outstanding contribution to sport, an accolade also presented to record-breaking jump-jockey Tony McCoy.
“I am hugely privileged and honoured to be awarded this here,” Rodgers added.
“I was very much into my sport but I loved school so hopefully this is my reward for many years of learning. There are some great and well-known students who have been given this award in the past.”