Kenny Dalglish is in danger of being saddled with a midfielder he does not want after Juventus told Alberto Aquilani that they will not be taking up the option to sign him on a permanent basis.
On the day the Liverpool manager wrapped up the £20million acquisition of Sunderland's England Under 21 midfielder Jordan Henderson, Juventus finally confirmed that new coach Antonio Conte had won the battle of wills over on-loan Aquilani's future.
While Juve's board had given Aquilani assurances that they would be keeping him beyond his 12-month temporary stay, Conte insisted, after being recruited to replace the sacked Luigi Del Neri, that Liverpool's £17million signing from Roma had no place in his plans.
A bitterly unhappy Aquilani is now pinning his Serie A hopes on AC Milan following up their interest in him and agreeing a fee with Liverpool and personal terms with the 26-year old.
Worryingly for Dalglish, Inter Milan are the only other realistic candidates for his signature. Unless either of the San Siro clubs come to the rescue, Aquilani will return to Anfield, despite his wife and young daughter wanting to stay in Italy.
Dalglish would then face the task of trying to coax the best out of a player who has slipped further down the pecking order, after Henderson's arrival, and is seething at his treatment by Juventus.
He claims a deal was in place in January, after an £8million fee was agreed between the clubs, and that Juve have gone back on their word.
Milan are his best hope of salvaging a full-time move back to Serie A, after they lost Andrea Pirlo to Juventus, but Liverpool may have to take an even bigger financial hit than the one negotiated with the Turin club.