Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has reiterated Marco Reus won't be leaving the Westfalenstadion next season despite the German's reported refusal to sign a new contract, dashing Liverpool's chances of signing the versatile forward.
Reus seems well-matched with the direct, transitional style of play manager Brendan Rodgers so easily employs at Liverpool, but Dortmund have once again confirmed their star man will remain in the Bundesliga. Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star provides Watzke's comments.
"We have said many times this summer that Reus will not leave," said Watzke. "Marco will play with us next season. There is no possibility that he will play elsewhere. We will try to tie him to our club for longer and we are proceeding with peace of mind that he will renew his deal."
Who will prove to be Liverpool's best signing next season, out of those confirmed so far?
Rodgers has already made six signings this summer, bringing Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi to the side, with Origi remaining on loan with Lille throughout the 2014-15 campaign.
Although another forward who can contribute instantly is craved by Rodgers, per ESPN, the manager isn't willing to spend for the sake of it. Wilfried Bony's name is among those touted for a move, but Swansea boss Garry Monk has urged the player to stay, saying, "I can help him become an even better player this season," as reported by the Mirror's Andrew Gwilym.
Further defensive signings are likely, with Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno reportedly eyed to improve the Reds' ranks, per The Guardian's Andy Hunter. Moreno can offer Liverpool established quality at left-back and would ensure Rodgers has plenty of options ahead of the Reds' challenge across four competitions.
Alan Kennedy, former left-back for the side, believes signing Moreno would be a smart move, as reported by Tom Evans of the Liverpool Echo:
Moreno represents a more natural left-back simply because he is left footed. He will provide excellent competition for (Jose) Enrique I'm sure but that's not to say Jon Flanagan still isn't in with a shout of playing there. You can play right-footed players at left-back but you can't do it the other way around so he offers that versatility which is quite rare at the top level.
Rodgers' defence played a consistent role in the team's inability to capture last season's Premier League title. Liverpool conceded 50 goals—more than any of the top six, Crystal Palace and a dismal Manchester United side—meaning they need to rapidly tighten up.
Lovren's potential partnership with Martin Skrtel or Mamadou Sakho should play a key role in stopping the leak, especially if Simon Mignolet can find a more consistent run of form in goal. The Belgian may feel a little uneasy by the prospect of Pepe Reina's potential move to AC Milan faltering, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, but he performed well for the most part of the season.
While Reus' appearance anywhere other than Dortmund appears unlikely, Rodgers still has a number of options heading into the new season. The Reds certainly need another prolific goalscorer—Lambert and Daniel Sturridge aren't enough considering the increased schedule—but will also want to continue galvanising a defence which has the potential to dominate.
Rodgers is currently the busiest manager in the Premier League when it comes to transfer dealings, a notion that sums up the man in charge. His signings address an immediate desire to improve while also placing an emphasis on future development, providing Liverpool fans with optimism that last season's title battle will become a regular fixture within the team's calendar once more.