If Liverpool want to strengthen their push into the Champions League, they need to bring in Javier Pastore in January.
Earlier in the month, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder told Le 10 Sport in France, "I was the first to sign for this club and will be the last to leave," per talkSPORT. That put a damper on any potential move happening.
Of course, it wouldn't be the first time a player has said he's not leaving and then walked out the door weeks or even days later. It's not like Pastore is going to publicly announce he wants to leave PSG and risk angering his teammates or manager Laurent Blanc.
Another talkSPORT report stated that Pastore would be open to a move to Anfield as he tries to get more first-team football and strengthen his place on the national team ahead of the World Cup.
If Brendan Rodgers has the chance to sign the 24-year-old, even on a six-month loan, he must jump at the chance. This is the kind of player who can mean getting Champions League football and slipping to fifth or sixth.
Some may be looking at Pastore's performance at the Parc des Princes and wonder what all the hype is about. He's failed to get into the first team on a regular basis and merely shown flashes of his individual brilliance rather than any sort of sustained form.
This season alone, Pastore has made seven starts in 17 league matches, scoring zero goals and notching zero assists. WhoScored.com has given him an overall rating of 6.63, among the worst on the club.
While there's no defending those abject numbers, Pastore is the classic case of a player who needs a change of scenery.
He's never seemed to get out from under the fact that he was PSG's first marquee signing and came at a cost of €42 million. That doesn't mean he's all of a sudden become a terrible player. Liverpool supporters should understand this very well, after Andy Carroll's ill-fated move to the club.
In addition, the constant transfer business of PSG has meant that Pastore's spot in the club has rarely been assured.
For a player as mercurial as Pastore, he needs the full backing of the club and manager, and until he gets that, he won't thrive.
There's no doubting that signing Pastore would be a risk for Liverpool. There's a chance that this move could blow up in the Reds' faces. The Argentine midfielder could carry his PSG form over and end up having as much success as Nuri Sahin did.
After all, the only consistent part of Pastore's game has been his inconsistency. Just ask Paris Saint-Germain supporters how infuriating the mercurial midfielder was during his time at the club.
If this move comes good, though, Liverpool would have the dynamic playmaker in midfield that the club is in dire need of. The injury to Steven Gerrard demonstrated how risky it is to put too much of the burden on a 33-year-old who's picked up his fair share of knocks over the last four seasons.
Signing Pastore would alleviate some of the stress on Gerrard.
If Liverpool can get Javier Pastore this January, how would you want the deal to be done?
Pastore's skills on the ball are fantastic, and he has the vision to pick out any pass necessary. He could easily slot in in midfield next to Joe Allen or Lucas Leiva and become the linchpin pulling the strings in the attack.
Liverpool aren't yet in a position where they have a lot of options in the transfer market. Sometimes they have to gamble a little bit.
Look at the transfers of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. In hindsight, the Reds would've looked stupid for letting them get away, but both Sturridge and Coutinho came in with their fair share of issues, and the success of either player wasn't a sure thing.
Should the Reds get into the Champions League, they'd be much better positioned in the transfer market and could more easily sign world-class players.
Until then, they have to take leaps of faith and hope it all works out.
They could do much worse than bringing in Pastore.