Liverpool midfielder Joao Carlos Teixeira has confirmed he is in negotiations over a new deal and reiterated his desire to remain at Anfield beyond the summer. The former Brighton and Hove Albion loanee provided a glimpse of his potential during the FA Cup third-round replay against Exeter City on 20 January, wrapping up a dominant 3-0 victory for the hosts on Merseyside with a late goal that owed much to the persistence of Christian Benteke.
That was just the 23-year-old's third senior outing of the season, with his only two previous appearances coming in the Capital One Cup victory over Bournemouth and the initial tie against League Two Exeter. A combination of limited first-team opportunities and a contract that is due to expire in June has led to speculation over an impending exit, although Teixeira insists that talks over an extension are continuing.
"We are in conversations at the moment," he told the Liverpool Echo. "My contract runs out at the end of this season. I want to stay but we will see what happens.
"I don't want to think about my future too much right now. I just want to play football. I want to enjoy this moment and try to build on it. I just have to keep working hard and keep doing my best in training. Whenever chances come along like this to impress Jurgen Klopp, it's up to me to show him that I deserve more chances."
While Teixeira hopes to stay put, speculation regarding the future of his Brazilian namesake Alex Teixeira continues to rumble on. The Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker, previously thought to have been a target for Chelsea, has been persistently linked with a move to Liverpool this week and fresh reports from the Daily Mail now claim that a club delegation has been dispatched to Miami, where the Ukrainian Premier League leaders are currently competing alongside the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke at the 2016 Florida Cup.
Although it is said that the Reds are willing to raise their offer to £24.5m ($35.1m), Klopp predictably refused to be drawn on any potential targets during his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Norwich City on 23 January. Asked about Teixeira, he said: "I have nothing to say about this. I could say a lot about a lot of players."
That supposed interest in Teixeira has generally been greeted with optimism by Liverpool supporters, however there was widespread concern across social media yesterday (21 January) when it was rumoured that the player had suffered a hamstring injury. This would obviously be a particular sore point for Klopp, who is already without Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren due to similar problems.
Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu has confirmed the presence of an injury, but his decision to leave Teixeira out of a 3-2 defeat to Corinthians earlier this week appeared to be motivated more by caution rather than genuine concern.
"Teixeira was injured during yesterday's morning session," he was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo. "I decided to rest him."