Udinese sporting director Norea Bonato has urged Piotr Zielinski to reach a definitive decision over his future, amid doubts that Liverpool are currently a viable contender for his signature. The 22-year-old midfielder has been subject to plenty of transfer speculation over recent weeks, yet progress regarding a potential summer departure from the Stadio Friuli was delayed by his involvement at the European Championship finals.
Zielinski made just one solitary appearance for Poland in France, starting their final Group C victory over Ukraine before being hooked at half-time and replaced by match-winner Jakub Blaszczykowski. Adam Nawalka's side progressed as runners-up behind rivals Germany and overcame Switzerland in a last-16 penalty shootout before bowing out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage with a cruel spot-kick defeat to Portugal.
A lack of exposure on such a big stage does not appear to have cooled interest in Zielinski's signature, however, with BBC Sport reporting last weekend that Udinese had rejected an £11.7m ($15.1m) offer from Liverpool for his services but rather bizarrely accepted a seemingly identical offer from Serie A rivals Napoli.
"The has been an agreement for Zielinski with Napoli for some time, but the guy took his time, as he had to play at the Euros," Bonato was quoted as saying by The Mirror of the latest negotiations regarding Zielinski, who joined from Zaglebie Lubin in 2012 but has spent the last two seasons out on loan scoring five times in 66 appearances for Empoli.
"Perhaps now is the right time to make his decision. Liverpool did not make a real offer, and if the English team does not come out of the closet, the boy eventually will understand the situation and will decide his future based on his offers."
Zielinski is said to favour a switch to Anfield and was even pictured wearing a Liverpool shirt adorned with his name and number during an appearance on French television in May. Jurgen Klopp, who yesterday signed a new six-year deal on Merseyside, has been quick to bolster his squad already this summer with the additions of former Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, promising young goalkeeper Loris Karius and exciting Southampton forward Sadio Mane.
All three new signings debuted on Friday night (8 July) as the Reds began a busy pre-season schedule with a short trip to Tranmere Rovers. Danny Ings, who missed seven months of his debut season at Liverpool with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, netted the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Prenton Park. Striker outcast Mario Balotelli did not even make the squad following his return from an underwhelming loan stint at AC Milan, a clear indication that he has no future under Klopp.