Speculation has linked Liverpool with a swoop for Real Madrid ace Marco Asensio in recent days, but the latest reports from Spain have seemingly dealt the Reds a blow.
The attacking trident of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were potent for Jurgen Klopp last season, as they combined pace, creativity and a clinical edge to great effect.
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It resulted in another top-four Premier League finish and a run to the Champions League final, but there is perhaps one role that Liverpool need to strengthen.
After losing Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January, adding a creative playmaker to play through the middle could be a crucial acquisition, and Asensio could potentially fit the bill.
However, as noted by AS, the €180m Liverpool target won’t be moving to Anfield this summer as he isn’t interested in an exit from Real Madrid and the reigning European champions aren’t interested in selling.
The 22-year-old made 53 appearances last season, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists. Having failed to establish himself as a regular in the starting line-up though, it could have been a reason to be left frustrated with fierce competition for places at the Bernabeu.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale also to contend with along with the likes of Isco and Lucas Vazquez, Asensio may well have been tempted by the potential of moving elsewhere for a more prominent role.
However, as per AS, it would appear as though that isn’t the case and Liverpool may well have to consider alternative options if they were indeed tracking the Spanish international.
First and foremost though, he will now continue to focus on the World Cup, with his future at Real Madrid seemingly not in any doubt.