Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Thiago Alcantara “is a really good player” but refused to confirm whether the Reds are interested in signing the Bayern Munich midfielder.
Speculation has gathered pace this week suggesting the Spain international was on the verge of leaving Bayern for the newly-crowned Premier League champions.
The 29-year-old is about to enter the final year of his contract in Bavaria and talks over a new deal have seemingly reached an impasse, meaning Bayern may consider a cut-price sale this summer rather than risk the player leaving on a free transfer next year.
With rumours raging about an impending Liverpool bid, it is little surprise that Klopp was asked about Thiago in his news conference following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Anfield.
The German would not be drawn on whether he wanted to sign the player, though he did admit he was an admirer of his talents.
"Would you be surprised if I never gave an answer on that? I never answer these kind of questions,” Klopp told reporters.
“Thiago Alcantara is a really good player. Like a lot of other players out there, I like him a lot. That's all I have to say about that.”
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed earlier this week that he feared Thiago was looking for a fresh challenge after failing to come to an agreement over a new deal, though he also stressed that there had been no contact with Liverpool over a possible transfer.
Meanwhile, Bayern boss Hansi Flick indicated that he wanted Thiago to stay and was doing everything he could to try and persuade the midfielder to remain at the Allianz Arena.
Thiago has missed most of the Bundesliga restart due to surgery on a groin injury, though he was fit enough to make a late substitute appearance in Bayern’s 4-2 DFB-Pokal final victory against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
That was the 15th major honour the midfielder has won as a Bayern player since joining from Barcelona in the summer of 2013.
Prior to that Thiago spent four years as a senior player at Camp Nou, winning eight trophies including the 2011 Champions League.