Brendan Rodgers' alleged pursuit of Dani Parejo is destined to end in failure due to Valencia's unwillingness to sell and Liverpool's stuttering transfer tactics.
According to reports in Spain, Rodgers is keen to bring Parejo to Anfield in the summer to bolster his midfield.
But Rodgers faces a tough task to convince Valencia boss Juan Antonio Pizzi to part with Parejo.
Pizzi is desperate to keep Parejo, who has also enjoyed spells with Real Madrid and Getafe, at the Mestalla and will demand a large fee to stave off interest from Liverpool.
Paul Gorst of the Mirror believes the midfielder's £20 million valuation "won't deter" Rodgers from getting his man, but recent evidence suggests the manager will have other problems to content with.
Liverpool missed out on Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka during the January transfer window, and Parejo's transfer isn't destined to be any easier.
Chelsea sneaked in to hijack Salah's move at the last moment due to Liverpool's dithering across "two-and-a-half months" of talks, as confirmed by the player's agent and reported by David Anderson of the Mirror.
Konoplyanka's deal fell through after Ian Ayre completed a marathon three-day negotiation process before Dnipro pulled the plug, per ESPN FC.
Both are examples of the club taking too long to capture their target. Rodgers is an excellent talent spotter, and both players could have galvanised Liverpool's future, but a lack of conviction ensures they remain elsewhere.
Parejo's emergence as one of Valencia's key players means the Reds can be held to ransom when trying to land his signature. Los Che's reported asking price is ambitious, but with Rodgers already signalling he has cash to spend, Liverpool may be forced to part with more than they originally hoped for.
Versatility is a key aspect of Parejo's game. His slick passing skills and dribbling efficiency ensure he is useful in centre midfield or on the left flank, although he doesn't possesses frightening pace. He could be deployed as an energetic presence behind Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, where his vision would come to the fore.
Parejo has six assists across 25 appearances in La Liga and the Champions League this season, per WhoScored.com. He isn't a natural goalscorer but has netted three times, including Valencia's winner away at Swansea and Valencia's opening strike during the 3-2 comeback win against Barcelona.
Rodgers is obviously after a creative type. Parejo can fulfil similar duties to Konoplyanka but is more methodical and less explosive. The Reds must show more urgency if they are to tie him up, as Lustig's report highlights how eagerly the Mestalla faithful want him to stay.
If Juan Antonio Pizzi is as "desperate" as the article suggests, Rodgers is likely to find himself frustrated once again. Valencia will "do everything within their power to keep hold of the midfielder" who has two years left on his contract—ensuring an inflated fee—according to talkSPORT.
Liverpool fans will be wary of any potential transfer at the moment, and with good reason. The club's sloth-like negotiation process has hampered development in recent times and needs to quickly receive a shot of life. Without it, Parejo may be the next to get away.