Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says that Liverpool pursuing a deal to sign Christian Pulisic is “not worth the effort.”
The Reds have been heavily linked with the American attacker since a failed £11 million bid in the summer, with recent reports suggesting they would return with an improved offer in January.
Jurgen Klopp is believed to be looking to add another attacker to his ranks following injury to Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings, with Sadio Mane also set for a spell of absence at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
Pulisic would make the ideal addition to Klopp’s squad, given his quality, versatility and top-level experience despite being only 18 years old.
However, speaking to German newspaper Bild on Wednesday, Zorc insisted that it was “not worth the effort for Liverpool” to make another approach for the United States international.
This serves as an emphatic confirmation of Dortmund’s strong position regarding Pulisic who, after suggestions he would stall on signing a new contract until he receives clarity over his immediate role, has established himself as a first-team regular under Thomas Tuchel.
He has made 14 appearances for Dortmund so far this season, including six Bundesliga starts, and has scored two goals and laid on six assists in that time.
This included setting up Andre Schurrle’s late equaliser in September’s 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Champion League, with Pulisic possessing the maturity and temperament to perform against high-reputation sides.
With Dortmund ruling out the sale of Pulisic in January, Klopp may be forced to turn elsewhere, with a number of options emerging in the rumour mill as 2016 draws to a close.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt is considered a long-term target for Liverpool, while the Reds are reported to be monitoring Spartak Moscow’s Dutch winger Quincy Promes.
While the 17-year-old is unlikely to be considered a regular option at this stage, the likes of Divock Origi, Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo are available and able to slot into the German’s forward line with ease.
Ojo has recently returned to full training at Melwood, and after making an impact on his return from loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the beginning of 2016, will seek to recapture that form.
The 19-year-old took a prominent role alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum in training on Thursday, with Coutinho, Origi, Mane, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge among those to sit out.