Liverpool would appear to have been dealt a blow in the race to sign Sidney Sam, with Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller insisting that the club want to tie the player down to a new contract.
25-year-old Sam, who joined the Bundesliga outfit from domestic rivals Hamburg in 2010, has begun the 2013/14 domestic season in dazzling form, netting seven goals in just 10 games and impressing supporters at the BayArena with a series of rousing performances down the flanks.
Such an admirable start to the new campaign has seen the German international - who has won four senior caps for Joachim Löw's side - linked with a move away from Leverkusen, with Liverpool rumoured to be considering a January move.
The Reds have enjoyed a similarly encouraging start to the campaign, with Brendan Rodgers' men having defied relatively modest pre-season expectations to sit second in the Premier League table following Saturday's 4-0 demolition of lowly Fulham.
However, Liverpool may be set to miss out on any potential deal for Sam, with Voller making it clear that Leverkusen are keen to keep hold of arguably their most-prized asset.
"We want to extend with Sid definitely," he told German newspaper Bild.
He is a very important player. We want to set an example that we can keep our service providers. We have indeed made at Bender and Leno."