Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta admits the Italian champions are interested in signing midfielder Emre Can but says Liverpool are "holding on tight" to the Germany international, who has just one year left on his current contract on Merseyside.
Can delivered a wondrous midfield display on Sunday (27 August) as Jurgen Klopp's side destroyed Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield and will certainly be an important component for the Reds this season as they look to improve on their previous campaign.
Liverpool have attempted to tie down the Bayern Munich academy graduate for quite some time but an agreement is still not believed to be close. Juventus are all too aware of Can's current contract situation and Marotta intimated his desire to try and thrash out a deal in January, when the midfielder would be able to negotiate a free transfer with other clubs.
"Liverpool are holding on tight to Emre Can," Marotta told Premium Sport, relayed by the Daily Star. "His contract expires in June. We'll be able to negotiate with him from January.
"We won't hide the fact we like him, but currently he is a Liverpool player, so we can only admire him from afar."
Juventus' interest in Can was reported earlier this summer. Massimiliano Allegri's men were alleged to have submitted a £22.6m (€24.3m) bid for the midfielder, but their need for a new central midfielder was quelled by the arrival of France international Blaise Matuidi for Paris Saint-Germain.
Juve's desire to recruit Can has not fully subsided if Marotta's comments are anything to go by, and Liverpool may have already captured the former Bayer Leverkusen star's replacement.
The Reds confirmed the future transfer of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, who will join the Merseysiders in the summer of 2018 after a protracted transfer saga this summer. Klopp's men were prepared to pay upwards of £65m for the Guinea international, who made no secret of his desire to move to Liverpool this summer.
But the much-lauded midfielder will now cost just over £51m, with the Reds paying a premium on top of his £48m release clause in order to end the possibility of another club swooping between now and next summer.