Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has laughed off suggestions the club are in the running to put together a loan deal for Kylian Mbappe.
France captain Mbappe has been subject of a world-record £259million bid from Saudi Arabia club Al Hilal, but Paris St Germain could also be open to a temporary move ahead of the possibility of seeing him leave for nothing next year at the end of his current contract.
Chelsea and Barcelona are understood to be among the clubs trying to put together deals for Mbappe, who is reported to have already agreed a deal to sign for Real Madrid on a free transfer and so secure a 160m euro (£138m) signing-on fee.
Anfield has also been touted as a possible destination for the coming season, but Klopp has been quick to pour cold water on those rumours.
“We laugh about it,” Klopp told Sky Germany as he prepared the squad for the final match of their pre-season Asia tour against Bayern Munich in Singapore.
“I can say that I think he’s a really good player, but the financial conditions don’t suit us at all. I wouldn’t like to ruin the story now, but as far as I know, there’s nothing to it.
“It’s possible that someone else from the club is preparing something and wants to surprise me…that hasn’t happened in the eight years that I’ve been here. That would be the first time.”
With Jordan Henderson having left the club to join Saudi side Al-Ettifaq, managed by former Reds skipper Steven Gerrard, Virgil van Dijk is set to captain Liverpool next season.
Klopp revealed he handed the Dutch defender the armband for his leadership – and for his looks.
“Virgil has everything to wish for to be a captain of a football club,” boss Klopp told the Liverpool’s website.
“Number one, he’s probably, let me have a think, definitely the best-looking captain in the Premier League, which is important for team pictures!
“But, of course, personality-wise everything is there. He wants to be a leader, he is a leader.
“He has to step up, like all of us have to step up because we were used to things how they always were and now we have to create something new – a new structure, a new culture – and that’s really exciting. He will play a massive role in that – he has to.”