Liverpool’s hopes of signing Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic have been dashed, with the teenager signing a new long-term contract.
The Reds made an £11 million bid for Pulisic in the summer, but were rejected out of hand by Jurgen Klopp‘s former side, with Thomas Tuchel earmarking him for a regular role in 2016/17.
Despite this, Klopp retained an interest in the youngster, with a renewed bid expected in the summer transfer window.
However, this is now unlikely, with Pulisic having extended his deal at the Westfalenstadion until 2020, signing improved terms, as announced on Monday.
Pulisic has already made 19 appearances for the Bundesliga side this season, scoring twice and assisting six, and at just 18 represents one of Tuchel’s finest prospects for the future.
While there is a very slim possibility this new deal is designed to boost Pulisic’s value, this serves as a major blow to Klopp’s transfer plans, with the Reds manager now left to pursue alternative targets in the summer.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt is a likely candidate, with Liverpool believed to be preparing an offer for the Germany international ahead of 2017/18, though there is no guarantee he will leave.
Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes has also been mooted as a possible target, but speculation over a move for the Dutchman has been cooled in recent weeks.
Klopp recently explained the difficulty in signing priority targets in the January transfer window, with Dortmund’s reluctance to part ways with Pulisic one reference point for the German.
“The players we want because we think they help us, the clubs don’t sell,” Klopp said.
“It is not about money in this situation, it is the winter transfer window.
“Clubs are saying ‘No, we have half a year to go, we cannot find another player like this, we prefer to take money in the summer than a few pounds more in the winter than whatever’.
“So it is pretty easy. You see the situation. It’s tight, it’s close, we know that.
“But if the right decision is not possible in signing the right player then you cannot make the wrong transfer.”
While Klopp suggested Liverpool were prepared to spend over the odds for the right player this winter, Pulisic’s contract extension at Dortmund has put paid to that.
One of world football’s most promising young players, Pulisic would have enhanced Klopp’s squad significantly, but now he must turn his attention elsewhere, and continue to build for success.