Brendan Rodgers has dismissed speculation he could recall Belgium international Divock Origi from his season-long loan spell at Lille as that was a prerequisite of the £10million deal they struck with the French club in the summer.
For that to change the Ligue 1 side would have to concede to a new agreement, with Liverpool having to pay considerable compensation, and they have shown no appetite to entertain such an option.
“I don’t think there is any (chance). It was never the case,” said the Reds boss. “When he was signed – and there was no discussion – it was one where he had to stay at Lille.
“I’ve seen reports saying he may come back early but that was never the case – one of the reasons we were able to sign the player was that he stayed there all season.
“As far as I am concerned that is still the case.”
That means there is extra pressure on Mario Balotelli, who will be assessed over the next 48 hours to see whether he has fully recovered from the hamstring injury which forced him to leave international duty with Italy early.
Balotelli is yet to score a Premier League goal since his £16million move from AC Milan. However, the misfiring Italian may at last be close to getting the extra support he needs up front after Rodgers confirmed fellow summer signing Rickie Lambert was due for more action in the coming weeks.
“A lot of the focus this season has been on players who are injured and a player who is no longer here (Luis Suarez),” he said.
“I need to ensure my time is devoted to the players who are fit and available.
“Rickie will get an opportunity now – we have so many games in an exciting period and he will feature in those heavily.”