Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says time may have run out for the club to secure the signing of Tom Ince in the January transfer window.
Ince has been on the Reds' radar throughout January but the club has prioritised bringing in more established faces, namely Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
Sturridge has impressed since his move from Chelsea while Coutinho is the freshest arrival at Anfield after signing on Wednesday from Inter Milan for £8.5 million.
Since 2011 midfielder Ince, who is the son of former England captain Paul, has been at Championship side Blackpool. And his appearances for the Seasiders have also attracted attention from further afield than Merseyside with Reading one of his spurned admirers.
As a former Liverpool youth player Ince seems destined to one day return to his first club, particularly with Rodgers being a fan of the 21-year-old. But both club and player will have to bide their time before any reunion.
"I think it will be difficult now," Rodgers said. "We could still do the deal but it looks like one that is a bit too complicated at this stage.
"It's about affordability as well. If Tom stays at Blackpool it doesn't mean he won't join Liverpool at a later stage."