Liverpool came close to signing midfielder Will Hughes from Derby during the summer and have not given up on the in-demand England Under-21 star.
The league leaders, who are 11/10 to beat Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, had been on the verge of a move for the player as the transfer window drew to a close.
However, the two clubs were miles apart in their valuations, with Hughes contracted to Derby until 2016 and the Rams in no rush to sell.
After getting their hands burnt with English buys such as Andy Carroll over the last few years the Anfield club were still hopeful of landing Hughes, who made his Championship debut as a 16-year-old in 2011/12, for £6m.
Derby value their man at closer to the £15m Man Utd paid Crystal Palace for fellow England Under-21 Wilfried Zaha in January, based on the players’ ages and similar development paths.
With the Merseysiders eventually pulling back from discussions, manager Brendan Rodgers is preparing to return with a bid of up to £10m as he looks to tie up a deal for a player who has been attracting interest for some time.
Hughes has been on the top English clubs’ radars since before his Derby debut and Barcelona are also thought to have sent scouts.
He made his England Under-21 debut in January 2012 and was on the pitch for all the goals in the 6-0 win over Scotland recently.
At Derby, Hughes has excelled as part of a midfield two and is noted for incisive long-passing, which suggests he could be seen by Rodgers as competition for Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen in the deep role next to Steven Gerrard.
During last season, his first full campaign, Hughes found the back of the net twice and laid on the same amount of assists as Derby climbed to tenth place – their best finish under manager Nigel Clough.