Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the ongoing contract situation with midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is "absolutely fine" as he played down talk of a move for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara.

The Netherlands international is in the final nine months of his current deal and has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona to be reunited for former national team coach Ronald Koeman.

Klopp has played down the speculation but failed to provide a definitive answer on the 29-year-old's future.

"It's all good with Gini. Absolutely fine about the future as far as we are involved. I can't speak about a few years, but it's all good for the moment," he said.

"You know the situation - between me, Gini and the club, everything is fine.

"Since Gini is here I have had 500 or 600 talks with him. Of course I've spoken to him since he came back from international duty. But that's all." 

There has been some criticism from sections of a demanding fanbase unhappy that the only transfer business Liverpool have done so far is the £11.7m signing of Kostas Tsimikas as cover for left-back Andy Robertson, having sold defender Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg and allowed midfielder Adam Lallana to leave after the expiry of his contract.

Wijnaldum's immediate future ties in with any interest Liverpool have in Bayern midfielder Thiago progressing into something more formal.

Klopp is an admirer of the Spain international but would not be drawn on rumours linking them with a move.

"If I could invent a word to end speculations I'd be really rich," he added.

"Did I mention Thiago Alcantara is a very good player a long ago? It's nice that we are linked with him but that's all." 

There has also been speculation linking Liverpool's young striker Rhian Brewster with a move away, either on loan or permanently.

"Rhian is our player, a wonderful kid and big, big talent. Scored very nice goals in pre-season," said Klopp.

"There is so much going on. What I can say is that we are really with him, thoughtful about him and what is best for his development and how we can use him.

"Nothing is decided otherwise they’d be there already."

Marcelo Bielsa brings his promoted Leeds team to Anfield on Saturday

Meanwhile, Klopp believes the defence of their Premier League title is the best problem they can have.

The Reds raced to their first title for 30 years with seven matches to spare of an interrupted season but even before the silverware was lifted at Anfield's last game of the campaign, questions were already being asked about whether they could repeat the feat.

Manchester City have been made the slight favourites and Klopp knows it will not be easy to maintain the standards which have seen his side record 99 and 97 points in the last two seasons – losing just four times in that spell – but that is what he expects.

"Winning the league last year is the best problem you can have," he said.

"If it’s a problem then I don’t know it, but everybody else is giving me a feeling that it should be a problem.

"Everybody wants to become champions, and that’s not news to me as I knew it before.

"It’s all about how we can put these intense performances on the pitch again and again and again.

"The Premier League is the strongest league in the world, and that means we have more competitors than we really need."

Liverpool face an intriguing test tomorrow in their opening match at home to Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, winners of the Sky Bet Championship and back in the top flight after 16 years.

Bielsa has inspired a number of the world’s top coaches – Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino – but what Klopp recalls is the Argentinian’s famed work ethic and (sometimes questionable) methods.

Leeds confirmed today that Bielsa would be staying at Elland Road for at least one more season.

"I admire him but I was never close enough to him to really follow him," said the Reds boss.

"Maybe the hardest working of all us, I don’t think we can compete with him in that area.

"When I think about the analysis he presented around the Derby game (Leeds were fined £200,000 for spying on Derby’s training session in 2019)… that was funny as well.

"We didn’t see any suspicious people around our training ground this week so it’s all fine."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson may have to settle for a place on the bench. The England midfielder only returned to full training this week after a knee injury prematurely ended last season for him.

Klopp will make a late call on the trio of Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri and new signing Kostas Tsimikas.

Leeds' club record signing Rodrigo and another summer recruit, Germany defender Robin Koch, could make their debuts for the club.

Bielsa has a full-strength squad to choose from for Leeds’ first Premier League game in 16 years, apart from Adam Forshaw. The midfielder is working his way back from a long-term hip injury.