Jurgen Klopp is reportedly 'obsessed' with Barcelona's young star Ousmane Dembele and is prepared to do whatever it takes to make a loan deal to Liverpool happen this summer, despite the Spanish clubs' president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisting there is no chance of a sale.
Reports on Sunday claimed the Reds were interested in luring the winger - who has struggled to make his mark with La Liga champions since his move last summer - to Anfield alongside fellow Frenchman and Lyon star Nabil Fekir.
The Liverpool boss was amused when asked of his interest in the 20-year-old following the defeat to Chelsea, but failed to deny or refuse the claims as he joked: "Oooh, is he on the market? Now I am interested. I never comment on transfer rumours."
Speculation has since grown traction after Mohamed Bouhafsi, Football Chief Editor at RMC Sport, told French TV show SFR Sport that Klopp has been 'obsessed' with Dembele since he joined his former club, Borussia Dortmund.
The German is said to be a big fan and is frustrated that he never got to work with the winger as Dembele joined the club a year after Klopp departed, leading to his interest in adding Dembele to his already prolific attack on Merseyside.
However, Klopp knows any deal for Dembele will not come cheap after he became the third most expensive player in the world when he joined Barcelona for £135m last year.
Bouhafsi claims Liverpool are exploring the possibility of signing Dembele on loan with an option to buy at the conclusion of the deal, similar to that of Paris Saint-Germain's agreement with Monaco for Kylian Mbappe.
However, Barcelona president Bartomeu has seemingly ruled out any such move as Dembele is seen as a long-term investment for the club.
"The option of selling him is not on the table. We are finishing the season and then there will be meetings. He's an investment for the future. He is very young and we expect a lot from him," Bartomeu told Catalan radio station RAC 1.
Dembele has struggled to settle at Barcelona, having made just nine league starts, and found his position further threatened following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho in January, with the Reds eager to use his lack of game time to their advantage should they enter any negotiations.