In the final days before the January transfer window opened, Tom Ince seemed a lock to arrive at Liverpool alongside Daniel Sturridge. The Sturridge deal may have gone to plan, but when it comes to Ince it's been another difficult negotiation for Liverpool with Blackpool and owner Karl Oyston.
And now, with only hours left before the window closes, manager Brendan Rodgers has all but ruled out any chances of a last-minute deal getting done. With a January move for Ince appearing increasingly unlikely as the month has progressed, it's the final nail in the coffin for the once near-certain move.
"I think it will be difficult now," Rodgers admitted. "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."
If Reading are willing to raise their initial offer to the £8M Blackpool have so far demanded, Ince could end up with the Royals before the day ends—and in doing so land Liverpool more than £2.5M thanks to the 35% sell-on fee the club is entitled to. If Ince doesn't end up at Reading before the window closes at 11PM tonight in England then the smart money will be on Ince to Liverpool rumours running through at least August.