Liverpool wait on Lille over Origi
Liverpool's hopes of bringing striker Divock Origi back to Anfield in January rely on former club Lille being prepared to release the Belgium international from his loan spell.
The Reds beat a number of European clubs to sign the highly-rated 19-year-old in the summer but a significant part of the success of that capture was a binding agreement to allow the forward to remain in France for one further season.
If Liverpool had been given the option to bring Origi into their squad in the summer they would have taken it and Daniel Sturridge's continued absence with a thigh injury has only highlighted the need for reinforcements up front.
However, Press Association Sport understands while the club would be keen to end the loan deal early, offering substantial compensation, they will not force the issue with Lille as they wish to maintain good relations.
The French club are aware of the Merseysiders' position and the ball is now in their court, but when the subject has been raised previously they have shown no inclination to agree, with director Jean-Michel Vandamme declaring last month a January move was impossible.
Lille's position in Ligue 1, in 14th just four points above the relegation zone, makes it even more unlikely they would let a key asset leave halfway through the season.
Liverpool have been keeping a close eye on Origi since signing him in the summer with manager Brendan Rodgers admitting his coaching staff are even offering advice on how he can improve before he arrives on Merseyside.
"When he plays in France, we get a download of the game here, analyse that and then feed back to him on areas he can improve in the game and what he's doing very, very well, so when he comes into here next summer he's prepared and we know the areas of his game that are his strengths," the Reds boss said earlier this month.
News this week of a new thigh injury for Sturridge means Rodgers has to find a way of getting goals out of the trio of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert - both summer arrivals - and Fabio Borini, who in 998 minutes of combined Premier League playing time have not scored.
Off the field it is understood talks over a new contract for captain Steven Gerrard, whose current deal expires in the summer, have been productive but are still ongoing.