Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has refused to confirm whether midfielder Joe Allen will be leaving the club for Stoke City amid reports the club have accepted a £13m offer for the Wales international. Allen is highly thought of by the German coach but only made eight Premier League starts last term.
The Guardian, among others, understand The Reds have sanctioned the sale of Allen to Stoke this summer four years on from his move to Merseyside from Swansea City – a signing which was made in Brendan Rodgers's first summer in charge. Allen starred at the European Championships with Wales, who reached their first major semi-final, and was included in Uefa's team of the tournament.
Those performances appear to have won him a move to Stoke, who are managed by fellow Welshman Mark Hughes. Allen has been unable to force his way into the Liverpool first team since arriving in 2012 but Klopp is unwilling to contemplate losing a player he described as "wonderful".
"All I would say about this would be to say something about transfers or not transfers! I like the guy, I really think he's a wonderful football player," he said, according to ESPN, after Liverpool's 2-0 friendly win over Huddersfield Town which Allen missed while he continues to recuperate following Euro 2016.
"But I knew this before the European Championship, during the European Championship, and now, but it's all about respecting a contract, to negotiate or not, to make a transfer or not – that's it, there is nothing to discuss properly. I haven't seen him since the middle of May [in] Basel. When there's something to say about this, I'll call you."
Though Liverpool maintained their 100% record in pre-season with victory at the John Smith's Stadium, it came at a cost with midfielder Lucas Leiva going off with an undisclosed muscle injury. The Brazilian has travelled to the US for the International Champions Cup double-header against Chelsea and AC Milan but Klopp is unsure if he will feature in either game.
"No, not exactly, but of course it's muscle so we have to wait," added Klopp, who was forced to bring on Under-18s goalkeeper Shamal George to replace Lucas after using up his six outfield substitutions, according to the official Liverpool website. "But things like this happen - that's how it is. It's always unlucky and never in the right moment, but we have to wait for the exact assessment."