Jurgen Klopp called Thiago Alcantara a 'really good player' but declined to discuss the growing rumours linking the Bayern Munich number six with a move to Liverpool.
The 29-year-old Spain international joined Bayern Munich from Barcelona in 2013 and has gone on to become one of the Bundesliga's top performers, winning seven consecutive league titles in Germany.
Reports broke earlier in the month that Thiago - recently ranked as the world's best deep-lying playmaker by 90min - was ready for a new challenge in his career, with English and European champions Liverpool his preferred destination.
If Liverpool did sign Thiago Alcântara, it could be a very good bit of business. | ✍️ @robacopeland— 90min (@90min_Football) July 5, 2020
Inevitably, Klopp was asked about the player in his press conference following the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday. While not dismissing the story, the Reds boss chose not to comment on speculation - ironically a position that will likely only fan the flames further.
“Would you be surprised if I don’t give an answer on that, just because I never answer these kind of questions,” Klopp said, via the Liverpool Echo.
“Thiago Alcantara is a really good player. Like a lot of other players out there, I like [him] a lot. But that’s all I have to say about that."
If Liverpool were to make a move for Thiago this summer it would represent a marked shift in transfer strategy.
Of the 20 first team signings made since Jurgen Klopp's arrival in October 2015, just four have been over the age of 27 - while three of those were backup goalkeepers and the other was short-term defensive cover Ragnar Klavan.
By the end of next season, Thiago will be 30 and would command wages that would rival (if not surpass) Liverpool's top earners.
The Reds famously passed on the chance to sign Timo Werner this summer, with the £50m German forward - a long-term target of Klopp's - joining Chelsea instead.
"They are the orchestrators of the beautiful game."— 90min (@90min_Football) June 19, 2020
Ranking the best deep-lying playmakers in world football. | ✍️ @matthewOCS
Klopp has consistently spoken of how money will not be spent lavishly this summer, owing at least in part to the financial impact of the pandemic.
Local source the Echo say that Thiago gossip is 'wide of the mark... the Premier League champions are not considering a move for at this present time', while The Athletic's respected Liverpool correspondent James Pearce, meanwhile, has said simply that 'we'll have to wait and see'.