SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

2RJG943 LEVERKUSEN - Fabio Carvalho of RB Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen - RB Leipzig at DE Bay Arena on May 27, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany. AP | Dutch Height | GERRIT OF COLOGNE

RB Leipzig transfer chief dismisses Fabio Carvalho exit claims as “power play”

Despite Liverpool’s intention to recall Fabio Carvalho from a disappointing loan in January, RB Leipzig’s sporting director has dismissed reports as “power games.”

This Is Anfield understands that Liverpool have begun talks with Leipzig over the early termination of Carvalho’s deal.

The Portuguese has only featured 13 times so far this season, starting three times, with his third start coming in the Champions League dead rubber against Young Boys, the day news of his recall emerged.

But while it seems realistic that Carvalho – who has gone unused 10 times already and averages 26.7 minutes per appearance – will return, Leipzig seem to be holding firm.

“These are typical power games,” sporting director Rouven Schroder was quoted in the German press this week.

“Fabio has a contract until summer 2024, we’re absolutely happy with him.

“We want the kid to scratch and bite. He will get his playing time.”

Leipzig's Emil Forsberg celebrates after scoring a goal during the German second division Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and Karlsruhe SC at the Red Bull Arena soccer stadium in Leipzig, Germany, Sunday, May 8, 2016. RB Leipzig can clinch the promotion to the German first division Bundesliga after this match. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

This comes ahead of an expected move to New York Red Bulls for long-serving Leipzig attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg in January.

Forsberg, who joined Leipzig at the start of 2015, has featured in all but three games for the German side this season, starting 11 of his 20 outings.

Like Carvalho, though, the Swede is not considered a first-choice starter for Marco Rose, with Xavi Simons and Christoph Baumgartner the go-to options along with the injured Dani Olmo.

While more opportunities could spring up if Forsberg leaves as expected, the likelihood is that Carvalho would still not receive the game time suggested when Liverpool agreed the deal with Leipzig.

Leipzig were even reported to be in pursuit of Spanish winger Bryan Zaragoza prior to his decision to join Bayern Munich from Granada.

2RJG8JM LEVERKUSEN - Fabio Carvalho of RB Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen - RB Leipzig at DE Bay Arena on May 27, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany. AP | Dutch Height | GERRIT OF COLOGNE

That would indicate that there are no concrete plans to promote Carvalho, despite both Schroder and Rose insisting that he will get his chance if he earns it.

Per The Athletic‘s Gregg Evans, the 21-year-old is unlikely to rejoin Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad if he is recalled next month, with another loan move expected.

There are said to be “a number of clubs already showing an interest,” with Liverpool having initially been keen to send Carvalho to another side in the Premier League.

Burnley and West Ham were both credited with an interest during the summer transfer window, though it remains to be seen whether a deal with either could be struck in January.