With speculation refusing to go away that Philippe Coutinho could be set for a sensational move to Barcelona, Jurgen Klopp appears to be preparing for life after the Brazilian playmaker.
A report in the Mirror claims the Liverpool manager is targeting Borussia Dortmund teenager Christian Pulisic as a replacement for Coutinho, who is continuing to attract admiring glances from the Catalan club.
What would Pulisic bring?
Klopp is believed to be a big fan of Pulisic, who has made 53 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund since joining the Bundesliga outfit in 2015. He really came to prominence last season, though, scoring three goals in 28 domestic matches despite only being 18 years old.
This form helped him break into the USA national team under Jurgen Klinsmann and with seven goals to his name in just 16 appearances, Pulisic has already become an important player for current boss Bruce Arena.
Like Liverpool’s phalanx of midfielders, Pulisic is a versatile, two-footed footballer who can play in a number of attacking positions.
Although he has sometimes been used as a winger, he has excelled at number 10 for Dortmund, forming a rapport with prolific goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Given his tender age he is only going to improve and playing under a coach of Klopp stature would surely enhance his development.
Despite steadfastly maintaining that Coutinho is not for sale at any price, there is a growing sense that Klopp is fighting a losing battle. Liverpool certainly do not want, nor need, to sell their prized asset, but a bid of £100 million from Barcelona, which has been rumoured, would be difficult to reject.
The Reds are understood to have already turned down an opening offer of £80 million for the 25-year-old, as the Mirror report. However, if Neymar’s proposed world-record transfer to Paris St-Germain goes through, then money will not be a problem for Barcelona.