Two weeks ago, Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told Liverpool that Christian Pulisic was “not worth the effort,” that he would cost them far more to pry away from the German club than he was worth. Now, he’s gone a step further, insisting the player will not play for Jürgen Klopp.
“We have communicated quite clearly that we aren’t going to sell Christian,” Zorc told Bild this week with rumours of Liverpool’s interest in the 18-year-old American attacker as a January target once again growing. “He’s very much part of our plans and Liverpool shouldn’t waste their time.”
For now at least, it seems a potentially fatal blow to the club’s hopes of landing Pulisic, at least in January. Before, Zorc’s implication was that Pulisic would cost more than he was worth, but he didn’t entirely shut down the potential for a deal to get done. This time he seems to have done just that.
Even if a deal still might be possible in theory for a high enough price, with Dortmund determined to hold on to Pulisic it’s difficult to imagine one getting done quickly. And for Liverpool, getting it done quickly is important—they’re already short on attackers and set to lose another mid-January.
Liverpool are currently struggling to recover their form following an injury to Philippe Coutinho, and though the player hopes to return before the end of the month, that is an exceptionally optimistic timeline given his injury. Then, two weeks into January, Sadio Mané is set to head to the AFCON.
With Daniel Sturridge sidelined with yet another injury—and not appearing a major part of Klopp’s long-term plans even before his latest setback—it leaves the club very thin in attack and, even in the best case scenario, with zero proven options to bring off the bench should a game need changing.
Speed is key. Getting a deal done to bring in a quality young attacker who can both make an impact now and with room to grow his game at the club quickly, and preferably as soon as the window opened, was and is the goal for the club and Klopp. At this point, it’s hard to see Pulisic being that.