Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists defender Dejan Lovren still has an important part to play amid speculation over his future.
Zenit St Petersburg have been linked with a move for the centre-back, hoping for a cut-price deal. The Croatian is out of contract next summer but the Reds have an option to extend his current deal by 12 months.
It looks like they will do that and whether it is to safeguard his transfer fee or to utilise him until 2022 Klopp believes the 31-year-old, who due to injury and the form of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip has made only 15 appearances this season, can offer something.
"He has been injured a couple of times (this season) and wasn't available but Dejan played outstanding games for us," said the German.
"He is a very important part of the squad. We have four centre-halves and we play usually with two of them, but we have needed all four always.
"Dejan has a very important role for us. He has played in a Champions League final, in a lot of big games, he is a very reliable player.
"There is a value to his experience, absolutely. Since I've been in here, Dejan was always either in the team, close to the team or not available.
"There was never anything else, we have never had any problems."