Borussia Dortmund managing director Carsten Cramer has told Liverpool not to expect any "gifts" in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham.
Liverpool have been interested in 19-year-old Bellingham for some time and look set to ramp up their efforts to sign him in 2023.
With the Englishman's contract at Dortmund not expiring until the summer of 2025 though, interested clubs know they will have to pay a substantial figure to prise him away - with competition for his signature likely to further raise his price.
Liverpool supporters are hoping that Jurgen Klopp's relationship with his former club will give them an advantage over their rivals, with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea known admirers of Bellingham.
But Cramer has admitted that while Liverpool would be the club he'd most like Bellingham to join - because of the links to Klopp - Dortmund won't be doing the Reds any favours when it comes to doing business.
“We have a high sympathy for Liverpool for sure. We are still in a good relationship with Jurgen and many others at Liverpool, so for me, it's my preferred club in the EPL as well," Cramer said during Dortmund's winter tour of Vietnam.
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"But don't expect that we will make gifts to Liverpool,”
Cramer continued: “He (Bellingham) has a contract. I'm a sales person regarding commercial business, but not regarding the player's business.
“We are happy to have him on board a hundred percent and the longer Jude will play for us, the better it will be.”
90min understands that Dortmund remain hopeful of keeping Bellingham for another season, with the player yet to make a decision about his future.
As well as the heavyweight Premier League interest, Bellingham has also attracted the attention of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus - though the resignation of the latter's board over financial irregularities is likely to scupper any future bid.