Liverpool reject as many as five loan offers for midfielder Kevin Stewart

Liverpool reject as many as five loan offers for midfielder Kevin Stewart

Liverpool have rejected a handful of offers for midfielder Kevin Stewart, including approaches from two Premier League and three Championship clubs.

Charlie Malam

Liverpool have turned down a number of offers from Premier League and Championship clubs to take midfielder Kevin Stewart on loan.

The 23-year-old has reportedly been subject to approaches from the likes of top-flight teams Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion.

Meanwhile Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion and former Reds boss Rafael Benitez's second-placed Newcastle United are among others in the second-tier to have shown interest, as well as Aston Villa.

Yet Liverpool are unwilling to allow Stewart out on loan, with Jürgen Klopp confident in the former Tottenham Hotspur youngster's ability to step into the first-team when called upon.

The Reds even rejected a bid of around £6 million for Stewart, who has spent loan spells with Cheltenham Town, Burton Albion and Swindon Town, in the summer from an unnamed club.

Stewart, who joined on a free transfer from Spurs in the summer of 2014, has made 18 first-team appearances for the club since making his debut under Klopp last January in an FA Cup tie against Exeter City.

Such is his progress, and the application with which he has impressed Klopp on the training pitch, Stewart signed a new-and-improved five-year contract with the club in November.

While he has only been handed two starts so far this season, coming off the bench a further five times, Stewart is likely to come into the starting eleven this Sunday when Liverpool play host to Plymouth Argyle at Anfield in the third round of the FA Cup.

With captain Jordan Henderson having made the holding role his own as the furthest withdrawn of three midfielders, Stewart is still seen as Klopp as ideal back-up to the skipper and the Reds' other senior deep-lying midfielder - Emre Can.

Klopp sees Stewart as reliable Henderson cover

Such is Klopp's faith in Stewart's ability - which was perhaps best showcased in the Reds' 4-0 pre-season win over Barcelona at Wembley Stadium back in August - the club are thought to value the London-born defensive midfielder at around £10 million to £12 million.

While it is likely Stewart, at this stage of his career, is in search of more regular first-team football - Liverpool intend to wait until the summer to assess the player's future.

Back in November, Klopp told after Stewart joined Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold in signing a new deal: "This is really positive news of course, and it's brilliant we have acted decisively to show our intent with our young players."

He stated that Stewart is "of course established with us now" and "making a contribution as an important member" of the first-team squad.

The German added: "All three of these players are big talents and are at different stages of their development, but it is development that is key and they must continue to learn and improve to achieve their full potential. News like today makes it exciting for me and the first-team staff that their development will continue with us at LFC."

With no signings currently likely in the January transfer window, it is no surprise Klopp is keen to keep a hold of the cover he has in vital positions like midfield - with Lucas Leiva also expected to stay unless Inter Milan improve their offer for the Brazilian.

The 29-year-old appeared likely to bring an end to his 10-year Liverpool career this month, but the Merseyside club will now only let the long-serving midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, go if Inter make a firm commitment to signing him after a six-month loan. 

Klopp, who asked Lucas to stay at the club last summer amidst lucrative interest from Galatasaray, admires the player's experience and his impact in the dressing room, although believes the club have sufficient defensive cover in the form of the returning Joe Gomez should the right deal arrive for Lucas.