Liverpool have denied accusations of "mentally bullying and destroying" Bobby Duncan by the 18-year-old striker's agent, Saif Rubie.
The European champions released a statement in response to criticism from Rubie, per Sky Sports News:
"Liverpool Football Club is aware of and disappointed by the unattributed comments and unfounded allegations that have been made in the media regarding one of our players. As the interests of the player in question are not best served by either inaccurate speculation, inflammatory statements or public discourse, we will be making no further comment."
Liverpool's statement comes after Rubie criticised Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and the Reds for keeping the unhappy youngster at the club against his will:
Rubie said that Duncan had missed Monday's under-23 game against Southampton "because he has suffered deep mental health issues with all the stress the club has put him under."
Here is a short section of Rubie's statement:
"This is not really dignified behaviour from a club with the rich history of Liverpool and one [at which] one of their greatest-ever players, Steven Gerrard, happens to be Bobby's cousin. It's a sad state of affairs that a club such as Liverpool can be allowed to get away with mentally bullying and destroying the life of a young man such as Bobby."
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher offered his view on the situation:
Jamie Carragher @Carra23
I know Bobby & his family well, he’s young & at that age we all want everything right now. Played for the 1st team in pre season which is a great start & he should try & develop this season & maybe make the bench in Caraboa Cup. That should be the advice you’re giving him you 🤡 https://t.co/RqXd9eupc1
Duncan arrived at Liverpool from Manchester City in 2018. He was the top scorer in Liverpool's under-18 team last season, racking up 32 goals in all competitions for the Reds. He was also on target in Liverpool's FA Youth Cup final victory over Manchester City.
The starlet was part of Liverpool's pre-season tour of the United States and had attracted interest from Serie A side Fiorentina and Danish club FC Nordsjaelland, according to Paul Gorst at the Liverpool Echo.
However, the club turned both approaches down as they believe the teenager "has a bright and long-term future at Anfield," per Gorst.
Per Sky Sports News, Liverpool will now work "privately" with the youngster to try to find a resolution that is in the "best interests" of all parties.