Lille boss Rene Girard insists that Divock Origi will be with the club next season, despite the Belgian striker expected to join Liverpool.
The 19-year-old, who is understood to have been in advanced talks over a proposed £10million switch to Anfield, caught the eye while representing Belgium at the World Cup this summer as he netted once in five outings for Marc Wilmots’ side.
Reports have suggested that Origi would be loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit to gain regular first-team football should he make the move, and Girard is expecting to see the academy product at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy for the new campaign one way or another.
“Divock Origi will be here (at Lille) this season,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou has been linked with a Premier League return – with Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton reported to have shown an interest – and Girard admits the future of the Ivory Coast international is in doubt.
“We’re less certain about Salomon Kalou but for now he is at Lille,” he added.
Brendan Rodgers has already added four new faces to his squad this summer in the shape of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic, while chief executive Ian Ayre has confirmed that the club will continue build their squad amid the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
Origi is widely expected to be the Reds’ fifth summer signing, although Swansea duo Wilfried Bony and Ben Davies have also both been linked with moves ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League return.