Martin Skrtel's silky wordsmith of an agent, Karol Csonto, spent some time just ten short days ago planting Napoli-shaped seeds in everyone's brains, the Italian club overtaking Zenit St Petersburg as the number one destination for his client based largely on the sentimental pull of Rafa Benitez.
Csonto said somewhat ominously that he'd then be in Liverpool within the week to discuss Skrtel's future with the club. The post-meeting verdict is in and now not only is Napoli evidently no longer on the table, but the Slovak's agent slipped in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it confirmation that the player is staying put on Merseyside.
"Martin to move away from Liverpool?" said Csonto in an awkwardly translated interview with Tuttomercatoweb, via Sky Sports. "I specifically say that Skrtel has never said he wants to go away, then it depends on the Liverpool market because everything could change.
"Napoli? I think they haven't the financial possibilities to take him. Liverpool has not decided a price because they don't intend to sell the player. Anyway, I don't think that Napoli can afford his wage."
Napoli's inability to afford Skrtel's wage seems a little bogus, not least of all because of the huge influx of cash the club will receive from the inevitable sale of Edinson Cavani. Skrtel snubbing a club who never actually made any kind of offer for him is standard transfer window non-news, but with most having accepted that the player was on his way out of Anfield one way or another, the disclosure that Skrtel has no sale price and that Liverpool have no intention to sell is more than a little surprising.
That it comes hot on the heels of the Echo reporting that Liverpool have cooled their pursuit of Kyriakos Papadopoulos due to Shalke's persistent £20m valuation of the player is perhaps not coincidental. Still, it's possible Skrtel's agent is simply continuing to play all the angles: just because Skrtel does not currently have a price does not mean he won't have a price by the end of the summer and just because the club have no intention to sell doesn't mean they won't should other centre back options slide into focus for Liverpool.