Inter Milan have rejected claims they are on the verge of selling Mateo Kovacic to Liverpool.
Reports on Wednesday suggested the Reds were closer than ever to making the Inter schemer their third recruit of the summer, having already secured deals for James Milner and Danny Ings.
However, the Nerazurri manager Roberto Mancini poured cold water on the claims, telling reporters: "Kovacic will become a champion. He is young, but has already improved a lot. I think he will stay at Inter. I don't think there is anything going on with him regarding a transfer."
Kovacic said he is committed to the Inter cause, but refused to completely rule out a summer move.
"I signed a new contract some months ago and I want to stay here," Kovacic reportedly told Sky Italia. "Right now, yes [I want to stay] but you can never say never."
The Croatia international remains heavily linked with a move to Anfield amid reports suggesting Mancini is ready to let the 21-year-old playmaker leave this summer.
Reports in the player's homeland indicated last weekend he had already agreed personal terms with the Merseyside club, with the matter now left to officials from both Inter and Liverpool to agree a suitable fee.
It was suggested Liverpool had raised their bid to €21m (£15.8m, $23.3m), still short of Inter's demand for €30m (£21.4m, $32.7m).
After spending £120m last summer with little success, Brendan Rodgers and the club's transfer committee are operating under a tighter budget this summer but must still fill the void left by Steven Gerrard.
Milner, 29, has already agreed to join the club and will officially become a Liverpool player – subject to a medical – on 1 July when his contract at Manchester City expires.
Ings will also come into the fold on that day when his deal with Burnley expires. Burnley are due a compensation fee due to the striker being under the age of 24 and talks between the two clubs are ongoing to reach a settlement.