Liverpool are optimistic that Divock Origi will accept the club’s offer of a contract extension following his return to preseason training, sources have told ESPN FC.
The striker, who has a year remaining on his current deal, reported to Melwood on Monday and signalled his desire to play a further part in helping the Reds win silverware.
Origi scored the second goal in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the Champions League final as Liverpool secured their first trophy under Jurgen Klopp and their sixth European Cup. He was also pivotal in the historic comeback against Barcelona at Anfield, scoring two goals in the 4-0 semifinal second-leg win.
Sources have told ESPN FC that talks over a new deal have been progressing well with the Belgium international, who recognises there will be greater opportunities to feature for Liverpool given the packed schedule for 2019-20 plus the involvement of Roberto Firmino at the Copa America as well as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Origi backs himself to seize his chances and prove decisive again. As revealed by ESPN FC last month, Liverpool will not sanction the sale of the 24-year-old this summer even if he does not sign an extension.
That the club do not want to cash in on him is also a positive factor for Origi, who has a close relationship with Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon and Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards. The latter has repeatedly resisted the chance to sell the forward on the cheap, believing he could make valuable contributions.
The determination to tie Origi down is another mark of Liverpool prioritising a policy of retaining players rather than overhauling the squad. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Joel Matip are also expected to extend their Anfield stays, while ESPN FC revealed Virgil van Dijk has informed the club he wants to sign a new contract just 18 months after joining them from Southampton.
Liverpool have edged out Europe’s elite in their bid to sign Fulham’s record-breaking midfielder Harvey Elliott. Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have also been monitoring the 16-year-old, who became the youngest-ever Premier League player in May.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s preseason preparations have been dealt an early injury blow with Xherdan Shaqiri “out for a while” due to a torn calf.
The 27-year-old reported back to Melwood on Monday and the problem, sustained during Switzerland’s Nations League clash with England on June 9, was assessed by the club’s medical team.
The prognosis was unfavourable, and Klopp told the club’s website: “Shaq is still injured from the national team and it will take a while until he is in again. He has a tear in his calf, so he will not be involved for a while.”
He joins Naby Keita on the sidelines as the midfielder nurses a minor abductor strain sustained during Africa Cup of Nations duty with Guinea.