Sunderland have failed to secure highly-rated youngster Ben Woodburn on a loan deal, as Liverpool have decided the attacker remains key to their ability to challenge on three fronts this season.
The Championship dwellers held hopes of securing the 18-year-old until May and reuniting manager Chris Coleman with the attacker he gave his Wales international debut to, but the move was scuppered once the Reds sanctioned the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
With only 45 minutes of first team football to his name so far this season Woodburn was said to be open to a loan move to secure valuable action as a regular starter, but Jurgen Klopp stopped the deal in its tracks as he decided the attacker is still needed this season - as per the Liverpool Echo.
Coutinho's departure has left Liverpool a man short in their attacking ranks and to maintain a healthy attacking depth in the squad, Klopp was eager to keep hold of one of the club's brightest prospects; with the stance only to change if the Reds sign any more forward players in the January window.
Sunderland have failed in an attempt to take Liverpool winger Ben Woodburn on-loan. Jurgen Klopp needs him following the sale of Philipe Coutinho to Barcelona. Unless Liverpool make any further signings in the forward area Woodburn will remain at Anfield.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 18, 2018
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The 18-year-old had a breakthrough campaign last season which saw him notch nine appearances for the first team and was rewarded with a new five-year deal; however, he has yet to make a league appearance this season.
Woodburn has captained Liverpool's Under-19 team in the UEFA Youth League this season, and will be hopeful the decision to keep him on Merseyside will eventuate into first team appearances.
The decision from Liverpool comes as a major blow to Sunderland's plans as the club are in desperate need of attacking fire power to ignite their season, as the departures of Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan have left them with just two teenagers to head the attack.