Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has rubbished reports that his relationship with Raheem Sterling broke down - with many reports suggesting the 20-year-old's impending transfer to Manchester City had a lot do with his relationship with the manager.
The Daily Mirror reported last week that Sterling wanted to leave because of a relationship breakdown between the two, but at a press conference ahead of Liverpool's first outing of pre-season, Rodgers strongly denied it.
He said at a press conference, reported by the Liverpool Echo: "Contrary to the last week or so, in terms of what was written, Raheem and I have always remained very strong in our relationship, and have been up until he left. There's no issue there.
"I spoke to Raheem at length yesterday, so there's no issue. The two clubs have agreed a deal, and he will move on. But at this moment in time the interest is with the players that are here."
This is a huge summer for the Reds after a disappointing season, and this pre-season has seen a series of changes at the club, including the backroom staff which saw the departure of assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first team coach Mike Marsh.
Sean O'Driscoll and Pepijn Lijnders joined the backroom staff, along with former midfielder Gary McAllister who has recently been appointed first team coach.
Rodgers said: "I decided to make a change. I had two fantastic guys, both Colin and Mike are great professionals and we're very supportive.
"I just felt the need to move in a different direction. The decision was purely made by myself. The guys have integrated very well into the group, hopefully we can continue."
Six signings have arrived at the club so far, and Rodgers was asked about a player who has yet to link up with the squad in Roberto Firmino. He seems excited about the £29 million signing from Hoffenheim, but refused to be drawn on future targets.
He said: "There's no pressure. He'll come in to the PL, and it will take time to adapt. But he has all the traits and the profile that we would want. He works hard, has talent and can score goals. We're really excited."