Liverpool have no plans to sell Emre Can even if they can’t come to an agreement to extend the midfielder’s contract this summer.
The German’s talks with the club over a new deal have stalled since last year as he prepares to enter the final 12 months of the contract he signed when he joined from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014.
But Jürgen Klopp insists he has no intentions to sell the 23-year-old despite the impasse.
He would prefer to keep the former Bayern Munich trainee for the final year of his deal and lose him on a free transfer rather than sell him and have to look for a replacement this summer.
Unlike Everton boss Ronald Koeman to Ross Barkley, Klopp reportedly will not issue an ultimatum to Can to say that he must sign a new deal or be sold or left out of the first-team.
Instead, the Reds boss remains hopeful that the two parties can strike an agreement for Can to commit his long-term future to Liverpool before having to think about letting the player go.
Liverpool keen to keep Can even if contract talks stall
The manager is said to be impressed by Can’s commitment, having willingly played through injury earlier this season, while his performances have improved significantly in the last few months - allowing him to fill in seamlessly for captain Jordan Henderson in a holding midfield role.
Can is thought to be holding out for £100,000-a-week but he has previously argued the stalled extension talks are not related to financial demands.
He said recently: "I read in newspapers it was about money but it isn’t about money. That’s not the reason. I am happy and I am still contracted here. Everything is fine and I just wanted to say it is never about the money."
Can would follow Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in penning new contracts if the club can tie him down to a new deal, though Liverpool could be forced to reassess the situation if Can is the subject of a sizeable offer this summer.
Losing the still-young midfielder, who has played in the Champions League for Liverpool, Leverkusen and Bayern, would be a huge blow for the club they close in on a return to the prized continental competition.
Can is capable of playing in a number of midfield roles and has particularly excelled recently in his preferred No.6 position.