Georginio Wijnaldum has asked Liverpool for more time as he mulls over their latest contract offer.
The Dutchman’s deal at Anfield runs out in the summer and he could seek pastures new.
Jurgen Klopp is keen to keep hold of the 30-year-old whom he signed from Newcastle in 2016.
Liverpool’s latest offer was tabled at the start of December but Wijnaldum wants a little longer to make a decision.
He has promised the club that he will inform them of his decision before he begins talking to other clubs, if that is the conclusion he arrives at.
Wijnaldum is one of several midfielders currently on the books at Anfield.
The signing of Thiago from Bayern Munich added more quality to that area, but also more competition, and led to speculation regarding the Dutchman’s exit.
He has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, which would allow him to reunite his former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, and he can begin discussions with them from January 1.
Liverpool have long been praised for how they have negotiated the market – both in terms of arrivals and departures.
The Reds hierarchy have been able to get top dollar for players like Christian Benteke and Danny Ings during the Klopp-era.
Wijnaldum though could leave on a free having signed for £23m.
Liverpool may feel as if they’ve got value for money from the combative midfielder who has won the Premier League and Champions League during his five-year spell.
Klopp said last month that, whatever Wijnaldum’s decision, he would not hold it against them.
“Gini is one of the best people I ever met, and one of the best players I ever trained,” he said.
“He’s an outstanding person, which means there is no issue at all.”
Wijnaldum has played 208 times for the Reds and scored on 20 occasions.