Liverpool have been accused of "mentally bullying" youth prospect Bobby Duncan by the player's agent.
Duncan's future has been subject to speculation in recent weeks, with the 18-year-old said to be keen to leave the Reds.
In a statement from Duncan's representative—Saif Rubie—provided to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, the stance adopted by Liverpool regarding the striker's future is severely criticised, noting that steps had been taken to agree an exit for the player that the Merseyside club did not want to accept.
The statement in full was shared by Rubie on Twitter, with Duncan quoting the post on his own account:
A section of the statement read:
"There has been a lot of things said the last few weeks regarding Bobby Duncan's future at Liverpool. And today [Wednesday] is the final straw of the behaviour and dealing of Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards.
"...Bobby has not left his room for four days because of this and will never go back to Liverpool again and my only concern now is his mental health and well being.
"The Liverpool hierarchy have shown zero consideration to that and have even gone as far as saying in writing that they will punish him and make him stay at the club until January and beyond to teach him a lesson.
"This is not really dignified behaviour from a club with the rich history of Liverpool and one who one of their greatest ever players Steven Gerrard happens to be Bobby's cousin."
In addition to "mentally bullying" the player, Rubie says Liverpool are "destroying the life of a young man."
In the statement, it's said Duncan and his agent were encouraged to find an exit path for the player this summer. Duncan only joined Liverpool from Manchester City a year ago.
Rubie says he managed to find clubs who were willing to take Duncan on loan for a season and have an option to purchase him for £1.5 million. However, it's added Edwards was not willing to sanction that type of move.
Per Mokbel, Serie A outfit Fiorentina have expressed an interest in the teenager, as have Danish side FC Nordsjaelland.
Duncan was part of the Liverpool squad for some of their pre-season matches and scored in the 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers. Last season he netted an equaliser for the Reds in the final of the FA Youth Cup against City; Liverpool went on to win the trophy on penalties.
According to Mokbel, Liverpool have been asked for comment in response to the statement from Duncan's agent.