Liverpool could be forced to end their chase for Naby Keita after RB Leipzig revealed they had rejected a second bid of €75million (£66m) for the player.
The Guinea midfielder is the Reds’ No 1 this summer, but the Bundesliga club have insisted all summer they had no desire to sell the player.
Liverpool saw an initial £58million bid for Keita rejected last week and now their second bid of £66million – which would have been a Bundesliga record – has also been rejected.
And Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz, speaking to German publication Sportbild, has warned Liverpool that Keita will see out his contract with the Bundesliga side.
“Recently, a €75million offer for Naby Keita came into the club,” he explained.
“[We said] no way. He still has a contract, and he will fulfil it.
“To sell him would not only be a proof of mistrust for our fans, but also the wrong sign for our other players, such as Timo Werner, who are also in demand.
“We do not sell players who are still under contract just to make a lot of money.”
Klopp admitted earlier this week that money alone might not be enough to see Liverpool land their top targets and the Reds may not be forced to look at alternatives.
“We pretty much have all you need [to conclude the deals]. But at the end it is still business,” he said.
“You go out and see the car that you have been dreaming about your whole life. You say ‘here is the money’ but they say to you ‘I don’t want to sell the car’.
“You say ‘but I have got the money’ but they say ‘I don’t want to sell’. They say ‘go for another car in another colour’ but you say ‘that’s OK, but I want this’.
“Things like this happen in life, not only football. It is pretty simple. You can imagine how it works.”
One of Liverpool’s alternative midfield targets is reported to be Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, but the Reds will have to act fast to land the Frenchman amid claims his club have accepted a bid from Valencia.