Jurgen Klopp denies Liverpool are interested in Man City's Joe Hart
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool are not interested in signing Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart this summer.
A source told ESPN FC on Wednesday that reports linking Liverpool with a move for Hart, who is currently on loan at Torino, were wide of the mark.
Klopp told a news conference at Melwood on Thursday that he is happy with his current goalkeeping options in No. 1 Simon Mignolet and backup Loris Karius.
The Liverpool manager is also satisfied with his options in reserve, with Wales international Danny Ward impressing on loan at Huddersfield Town and youngsters Kamil Grabara and Caoimhin Kelleher training regularly at Melwood.
"We always think about the squad and that includes the goalkeepers," he said. "Usually we don't talk about things like this, but in this specific case, we can.
"He [Hart] is a fantastic goalkeeper -- the goalkeeper of the England national team -- so he is of the highest quality. But we have the highest quality goalkeepers already. So he is not for us, not in the moment, and hopefully not in the future.
"That's not because of Joe, it's because we have two strong goalkeepers and Wardy is at Huddersfield, playing a brilliant season -- he's ours so we will bring him back next season and then there is more competition. The young ones have made really big steps, Kamil and Caoimhin, so the situation around our goalkeepers is really good."
A source close to Liverpool has also told ESPN FC that the club have not had a €50 million bid rejected for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio. Reports in Spain on Thursday stated the La Liga side had knocked back an approach from Liverpool for the highly rated 21-year-old.
Liverpool continue to be linked with attacking players ahead of the summer transfer window. Sources have told ESPN FC that Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt is a target for Klopp, but that Liverpool are aware of the stiff competition they are likely to face for the 20-year-old's signature.
Meanwhile, Liverpool could have to deal with a shortage of central defenders for Sunday's game against Crystal Palace. Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva are all doubts for the encounter at Anfield, having been absent from training at Melwood this week due to various knocks.
"Unfortunately, it's not too positive," Klopp said. "[We have] a few little things from the last game, it doesn't make it much easier. Little bit muscle problems -- Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva -- [and] still a [knee] problem with Ragnar Klavan. [Klavan] was a very, very small medial ligament, but could be also really not enough time until Crystal Palace.
"It's not 100 percent that Lucas cannot play, it's not 100 percent that Joel cannot play, it's not 100 percent that Ragnar cannot play. But they are not in training in the moment, so that's not too cool. Joe Gomez played on Monday, under-23s, again [he] did well, made big steps in the last few weeks, so maybe we have to try this pair. We will see, I don't know in the moment."
Adam Lallana has stepped up his rehabilitation process from a thigh injury by making a return to light training. Klopp says the midfielder remains on course to possibly make a comeback for the trip to Watford on May 1.
Work, sleep, repeat.... another good session completed. More still to do �� pic.twitter.com/jHiAdUTj7D- Adam Lallana (@officialAL20) April 20, 2017
However, Klopp added he was unsure whether Jordan Henderson would be able to play again this season. The Liverpool captain has been absent since February with a foot problem, which continues to rule him out of training.
"Adam [is] on a good way, back on the pitch but still with the rehab coach, so nothing changed there," Klopp said. "[He] should be involved -- not sure exactly when -- next week in normal training. Wednesday, Thursday, something like this. In our situation we have to think about a player when he starts [training], we will see."
On Henderson, he added: "Still nothing new. In this moment, he cannot really train, so we have to wait for this moment. This was the plan from the beginning and if we had something else to say about this, I would say it. Of course, we are in intense talks with different departments but we have to wait. He is already not patient anymore! It's not cool, he looks really healthy, but he cannot play football."
Danny Ings is back out "running" after taking the next step in his recovery from a long-term knee injury, according to Klopp.
Liverpool welcome Sam Allardyce's side to Anfield on Sunday, hoping to cement their top-four finish in the Premier League following back-to-back wins at Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion.
On-loan Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is enjoying a positive spell of form since his temporary switch to Palace in January, with Klopp telling reporters that the club are monitoring the centre-back's performances for the South London side. However, Sakho will not be able to impress Klopp in person as he is ineligible to play against his parent club.
"He's a good player and, of course, we watch all the games, especially in the preparation for this game, but there's nothing else to say about it," Klopp said. "I'm not sure what monitoring means -- if we watch it and think about it, all that stuff, then yes. That's how we do it with all games, especially when a player from our side is involved, players on loan.
"Mama is a very good defender, especially when you defend deep, which is what Crystal Palace is doing often. He's a very strong boy, good tackles and good blocks, so having a player like him in the team is then really good.
"Apart from this, he's a good football player and he's a cool guy. I think they have played together now five, six or seven games, so having him not involved, of course, is not the best news for Crystal Palace."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.