I think the whole 1st, 2nd choice target thing is a bit confused on here for some.
If you have read the Secret Footballer articles on t'internet, he sometimes has guest writers, say a coach or agent. I recall one with a scout, who explained how targets work at most big clubs.
They draw up a shortlist for every single position, and most of the topper teams pick the shortlist based on ability first, then everything else second (attitude, work ethic etc)
Let's say Left Back for example. This article was written a while back, and everyone would pick say Ashley Coke as number 1, as at the time, he was by far and large probably the best LB around. Then they go down and down etc.
He goes on to say when the eventual player is picked, normally the manager comes out and says 'We have picked up our top transfer target' etc, when in reality, they are almost always 5th/6th choice. (Unless you are the mega-clubs, Barca, Bayern, Madrid)
Now bringing it into relation for us, here and now, this is where we have to be realistic. Liverpool currently, are simply not going to get the top echelon of player when going against the mega clubs. If we don't get champions league, we won't even get them
Against the rest (Spurs, City).
If we show progress, and reach Europe, then the Calibre of player we attract will increase, no matter what Jürgen says otherwise.
And this is not even touching on the financial aspect, which has now drastically changed with pretty much the top 8/9 can all pay roughly the same for players.