Because of a lingering injury and a desire to pay less than the fee that Liverpool were asking for, Stoke had backed away from a deal and moved on to other targets. Now, though, according to the Telegraph, Stoke swung and missed at those other targets, and have reconsidered their stance on Assaidi.
After being rebuffed by relegated Norwich City in an effort to get Nathan Redmond for some £3.5 million, the Telegraph's John Percy reports that Hughes came back to Liverpool with an offer of an initial £4.5 million for Assaidi, with incentives and escalators that could eventually bring the fee to the full £7 million that the Merseyside club had previously demanded.
Percy claims that the negotiations have only restarted in the last 48 hours, but characterizes the move as "close." That seems perhaps premature, but as Liverpool can hardly be eager to hold on to Assaidi at this point, they're probably just as eager to get a deal done as Stoke is.
This would be the second time in recent years that Stoke would have given Liverpool a fee that represents a profit for a player who had previously disappointed at Anfield. When Brendan Rodgers first arrived, Liverpool sold the Potters Charlie Adam for a similar fee, fittingly using that in part to pay Heerenveen their £2.5 million for Assaidi. Now, between last season's loan fee and this transfer fee, Stoke might be trebling that money for a player that only made four league appearances for Liverpool. That's not bad business.
Of note, if Assaidi is sold, he would be not only the first player bought under Rodgers' tenure with Liverpool, but also the first such player to be sold off. If nothing else, that gives his Liverpool career an interesting footnote.