Liverpool have no plans to let Daniel Sturridge leave in the January transfer window, manager Jürgen Klopp has insisted, while also ruling the striker out of this weekend's trip to Bournemouth.
The Reds embark on a long trip to the South Coast to face Eddie Howe's men on Sunday, but Sturridge will not be in the squad having yet to return to training from a calf injury.
The issue has already kept him out of their back-to-back 2-0 wins over Sunderland and Leeds United both at Anfield.
But despite his fitness problems, and his lack of playing time even when he has been available this term, Klopp says that Liverpool will not allow Sturridge - who boasts a phenomenal 57 goals in 102 appearances on Merseyside - or any of his teammates to leave next month.
No first-team Liverpool players for sale in January
Fielding questions from the media at his pre-match press conference at Melwood, Klopp revealed that "unfortunately Daniel is not in training now" and said that is what he is "more concerned about" rather than "any transfer rumours."
"The funny thing is that you [the media] and your colleagues create these stories and then ask me about a story that isn't a story," said Klopp, bemused at the idea Sturridge would be allowed to leave.
He added that there is "absolutely no idea or no thought to sell any player from the first-team squad" mid-way through the campaign, insisting that he doesn't think "it would make sense."
The German also joked that he is "prepared for everything" that will be asked of him, concerning outgoing and incoming transfers in January, suggesting that it "will be funny" to hear what rumours crop up.
Lallana and Firmino both back in training
Despite Sturridge's absence for this weekend's trip to the Vitality Stadium to face the Cherries in the Premier League, Klopp also issued a positive injury update on Adam Lallana.
The England midfielder hasn't featured since picking up a groin injury on international duty, also missing a goalless draw at his former club Southampton as well as back-to-back wins.
But he could return as Liverpool look to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 16 games now that he is back in training, Klopp adding that Roberto Firmino is also back with his teammates on the training ground despite taking a knock to the calf last time against Sunderland.
The Reds boss admitted that there "will be a few chances, probably" - with Philippe Coutinho having been ruled out for six weeks since their last league clash a week ago.
He said that he is "happy about each player that is back in training" and said that Lallana has "been training since Thursday", adding: "Yesterday was the first session and he looked good."
Klopp noted that he and the medical department "need to see how he reacts to the intensity of the training' because it "was quite intense for him" but said it is "all good" and that "having him back is cool."
He added that Firmino "trained yesterday too" which is "important." Klopp said the Brazilian is still in "a little bit of pain" but reassured supporters that it is "not that serious" and that "when you can deal with the pain, then everything is fine."
The manager labelled Firmino as "quite a tough guy" and said he "came through the session" and they will "have to see how he reacts."
Divock Origi is the man likely to lead the line and replace Coutinho, whether Firmino is fit or not, having scored in back-to-back games.
Klopp also said that they will make a decision on wheher 17-year-old striker Ben Woodburn, who became the youngest goalscorer in the club's history by scoring against Leeds, will be included in the 18-man squad that travels to Bournemouth.