What once seemed like a lost cause for Liverpool has been given a breath of new life after Cristian Tello admitted his mind is open regarding a move away from Barcelona.
However, any transfer, temporary or otherwise, won't come to fruition until this summer at the earliest, following comments from the Spaniard that he's committed until June.
The Metro's Hannah Duncan quotes Tello as saying that his situation will be reevaluated at the end of the season: "I will definitely stay at Barcelona until June, then we will see in the summer."
It's not necessarily the news that Brendan Rodgers was hoping for but even a summer deal holds some promise for the Merseysiders, who must persevere in their pursuit of one of La Blaugrana's fastest rising stars.
One of La Masia's more promising graduates in recent years, Tello still holds a great deal of potential despite his development tailing off slightly in the last year or so.
That plateau has come partly for good reason, however, with the youngster breaching Barca's first team, receiving less playing time merely as a result of the high standard within Gerardo Martino's ranks.
Should Liverpool chase a summer deal for Tello?
That being said, Tello has still managed to make 11 La Liga appearances this term, per Transfermarkt, albeit with most of those coming only by way of cameo.
Only twice this term has the 22-year-old been given a half or more in a league match but it was on one of those occasions—a 4-1 thrashing of Real Valladolid—that Tello pitched in with two assists.
Liverpool's lack of pedigree on the wings has been one existing issue this term. Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling have featured most prominently out wide for Rodgers' side, with Victor Moses' loan from Chelsea not proving quite as successful as some would have hoped.
Jordan Henderson has also filled in on the flanks when needed, but both he and arguably Coutinho, too, are of more use in more central positions.
The fact that Tello has the ability to provide cover up front as well only solidifies the case for why the Reds would be smart to stay resolute in this particular chase.
As of yet, Tello hasn't spent time away from the Camp Nou on loan, and he has instead been stuck in a form of limbo between Barca's bench and the stars in front of him.
With a fully fit squad, there's no way the youngster is going to depose the likes of Neymar, Pedro or Alexis Sanchez, and his comments would appear to suggest he's looking for more minutes.
The New York Times' Graham Ruthven is of the opinion that Tello is far from the Barca standard, however:
I watch Barcelona pretty much every week and I've still to see anything that suggest Cristian Tello has a long term future there.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) January 16, 2014
With that doubt evidently creeping in, Liverpool's next goal should be a long-term one, where a summer acquisition of the player—though not necessarily as a permanent transfer—would work to benefit all parties involved.