For much of the past month, Tom Ince's eventual move to Liverpool during the January transfer window seemed mostly a question of when Blackpool would stop dragging their feet and accede to the player's wishes, accepting what most believed was a generous £6M offer. Whether or not the player and his father—former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince—are actually pushing for a Liverpool move, though, has suddenly become far less clear.
"There is no point Thomas going to a Premiership club and not playing football," said Ince's father in an interview with Sky Sports News. "That will just stunt his development. Where he goes he will have to be involved and have the chance to get game time.
"So if you say Liverpool, you say Man United, or you say Barcelona, there's no point going to any of those clubs if he's not going to play football. He might as well stay at Blackpool and keep playing week-in and week-out."
With the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, Fabio Borini's return to fitness, and Raheem Sterling's emergence, Ince playing every week would be far from certain. He would undoubtedly see first team action, but barring a run of form that forced Brendan Rodgers to consider him a lock it's unlikely he'd be a regular in the starting eleven.
For many, it was this fact that always made his potential signing seem a little strange given Liverpool's limited funds and the pressure on Rodgers to improve the club's standings in the second half of the season. And no matter how likely the deal may have seemed a week ago, with Ince's father now publicly backing away from a January move away from Blackpool, today its completion seems very much in doubt.
"Not at one time have I said he's going to Liverpool," Paul Ince added. "Thomas has not at one time said he wants to leave Blackpool Football Club. I feel he is ready for the Premiership [but] whether that means he is going to go in January, or at the end of the season, or at the end of next season, who knows."