Jurgen Klopp is adamant he can't guarantee playing time to Daniel Sturridge, who is looking to leave Anfield in search of regular action on the pitch.
Hoping to keep his World Cup hopes alive, Sturridge wants to make an impression on England manager Gareth Southgate, but will need consistent minutes to do so.
Sturridge currently finds himself firmly behind Roberto Firmino and youngster Dominic Solanke in the Reds pecking order up front, and hasn't played since early December. However, promising players time on the pitch is something Klopp said he's never done as a manager, and will not start doing with Sturridge.
"I have never in my life promised a player game time for the next few months," Klopp told reporters on Friday, ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with West Brom.
"It is not possible. We have mentioned all the things like it was so far.
"When Daniel is fit, training, in shape, he is still an outstanding striker -- there is no doubt about that. But he did not play the last few weeks for different reasons.
"Of course one of them was Roberto Firmino's performance and Dom Solanke's development.
"And Daniel being in and out of training. In general more in than out, but at times when he was in he was a little unlucky with the games."
Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in the January transfer window. Losing Sturridge, without signing a replacement for the Brazilian playmaker, could be viewed in some corners as foolish business, but Klopp wouldn't rule out the possibility.
"No matter which direction you come, I cannot give an answer on that," he said.
"It is an open thing. There are a lot of rumours around and at this moment there is nothing to say about it. When we have something to say about it we will say something, but so far we have needed him and we will see what happens in the next few days."
A Sturridge exit would leave only Solanke and Danny Ings to back up Firmino.
On the possibility of having too few players at the position, Klopp added: "If we make the decision in this direction or this direction then you will see if I thought we would be too short or not!
"Whatever I could say would only kill your stories or give you a story for one time and then it's done. Write about it whatever you want. I would say wait a little bit."