Amongst the many names on the list of players believed to be at risk of leaving Liverpool this summer, there seem more than a few sure things. The likes of Iago Aspas and Sebastian Coates and Pepe Reina and Conor Coady all seem fairly safe bets to be starting next season somewhere other than Liverpool, and nobody much imagines the club seeking to extend the stay of loanees Aly Cissokho or Victor Moses.
Having just returned from a largely successful season at Stoke City, Oussama Assaidi is another of the names Liverpool fans don't expect to be sticking around at the club. And for Stoke's part, the West Midlands club continue to sound keen on securing a permanent deal. If Stoke are willing to pay Assaidi's £4-5M market value and help Liverpool turn a small profit, it's difficult to imagine a deal wouldn't go through.
"The ball is very much in Liverpool's court because he is their player, and I'm not saying I know what they are thinking," was Stoke boss Mark Hughes' cautious approach when asked about the player's future. Despite that, the local Stoke Sentinel believe Hughes is hopeful of a permanent deal for Assaidi, and there's no reason to believe Liverpool wouldn't be just as hopeful of getting a deal done as he is.
A bigger potential sticking point than Liverpool's willingness to get a deal done would be if the 25-year-old Moroccan winger decided a move back to the Eredivisie would be better for his career. Given he's assured of minutes at Stoke and was a success there this season, though, that seems unlikely, and negotiating Assaidi's permanent move to the Potters seems like it's only a matter of time.