The presence of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool could prove to be crucial as they attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Christian Pulisic, who is currently below the level of Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho according to former Reds defender Steve Nicol.
The Merseysiders have long been admirers of Pulisic, an established USA international at just 18, and tried to lure him to Anfield last summer. Dortmund had no interest in parting with their coveted attacker and rejected a £11m bid from Liverpool 12 months ago, but the Mirror claim Klopp's men are believed to have reignited their interest and may test the German outfit's resolve with a £30m bid.
Pulisic would presumably be brought in to replace Philippe Coutinho should the Brazilian depart for Barcelona, but Nicol, who spent 13 successful years with Liverpool, does not think the versatile forward is on the same level as Coutinho and says he wouldn't even consider swapping the Westfalenstadion for Anfield if Klopp was not in the hotseat.
Pulisic is currently the American national team's poster boy and would undoubtedly heighten Liverpool's already strong profile state-side but Nicol thinks the club's supporters are more interested in seeing the Reds challenge for silverware, which they won't be able to do if they keep auctioning off their best players.
"If Coutinho leaves I think there is every chance he [Pulisic] would start," Nicol said on ESPN. "Clearly he's not at the level Coutinho is at which starts another argument. If Liverpool want to do anything you can't let your best players go, but at the same time you're signing a young player who I think one day will be fantastic.
"We can't argue in three or four years time, when he raises his level to where Coutinho is, that Liverpool won't sell him.
"Dortmund were in the Champions League last season, they were in a final more recently than Liverpool, but there is Jurgen Klopp factor. Clearly he knew all about Pulisic and had a relationship with him, that would be the one thing other than money that would maybe make Pulisic go from Dortmund to Liverpool. If Klopp's not at Liverpool, there is no chance of it happening."
Despite the speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona, Coutinho has been heavily involved in Liverpool's pre-season matches and even captained Klopp's men as they secured a 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
The Merseysiders have made it very clear that they have no plans to sell Coutinho this summer and reportedly placed a €150m (£133.7m, $176.1m) price tag on their star attacker in order to ward off interest from Barcelona, who are looking for a replacement for the seemingly Paris Saint-Germain bound Neymar.