Liverpool could now lose out to Chelsea on the transfer of Mohamed Salah.
Brendan Rodgers was unusually tight-lipped about any deal during Thursday's press conference, with Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo noting via his Twitter feed that there was "no news on incomings including Salah."
No news on incomings for #LFC including Salah. Rodgers backs Lucas Leiva to be fit for tilt at Brazil World Cup squad before end of season.— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) January 23, 2014
It has since been announced that Chelsea will sign the winger:
After days of speculation that Liverpool were in the box seat to sign the player, including this Metro story purporting to show Salah's rental agreement for a Merseyside property, Rodgers' negativity was the first sign of major doubt over the move.
With Iago Aspas and Victor Moses flattering to deceive at present according to Ian Salmon of Sabotage Times, it was thought the capture of Salah would reinvigorate the front line, and provide Rodgers with another first-class attacking alternative.
A player of proven class whose capture would help fire the Reds into Europe.
Following talks with the Swiss Super League outfit the ECHO understands that Anfield officials have been unable to agree a fee.
Liverpool value the player at around the £8million mark but Basel have upped their asking price for Salah to around £16million.
Liverpool have no intention of matching that bid so if Salah accepts the opportunity to join Chelsea he will be London bound and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will turn his attention to other targets.
It's a bitter pill for Rodgers to swallow but such are the machinations of any transfer deal. If Liverpool didn't value Salah at £16 million, they were right not to pay it.
In any event, the manager deserves to be afforded respect. After a settling in period post-Dalglish, Rodgers has got the Reds playing the football of yesteryear.
Football that many of those sitting in the Kop and elsewhere were brought up on. High-energy incisive attacking football played with a mixture of verve, creativity and finesse.
Just the sort of environment in fact where Salah would have thrived.
Jose Mourinho has made it perfectly that current wide men Oscar and Eden Hazard are first choices in their respective positions, with Willian also a fixture in the 4-2-3-1 the Portuguese currently favours.
Even if you consider the prospect of Salah being a lone front man, which isn't his natural game, he is no Samuel Eto'o.
Therefore it's hard to imagine where Salah would fit in at Stamford Bridge.
Should Liverpool have done everything to sign Mohamed Salah?
The best he could surely hope for at this juncture is a spot on the bench, which makes absolutely no sense for a player of his age and potential.
Of course, it could just be a chance for Roman Abramovich to flex his financial muscle once again. To let the Premier League big boys know that he is still a major player in the transfer market.
Rodgers would have given the player the freer role in which he has excelled for the Swiss champions. An immediate platform to showcase his superior skill set to an adoring audience.
Liverpool was the right move professionally for Salah, but it seems money talks.