Liverpool almost must sign a new striker in this transfer window if they harbour realistic hopes of finishing in the top four this season and there is now a big reason to believe that Jermain Defoe could arrive at Anfield.
Carlos Tevez has been linked with a loan switch to Liverpool, but it has been English duo Darren Bent and Defoe that have regularly seen their names thrown up as leading targets.
With Aston Villa seemingly moving backwards rather than forwards, it would be no surprise if Bent jumped at the chance to move on, given that he lost his main sources of goals in the summer when Ashley Young and Stewart Downing left Villa Park.
But with Villa unlikely to accept much less than the £24m they paid Sunderland for Bent, he would be an expensive investment.
Defoe would potentially be available for half this cost and is in greater need of a move if wanting to make a late claim for a spot in the England squad for Euro 2012.
He has found first-team opportunities hard to come by this season since the arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor and with rumours rife that Spurs have signed Louis Saha from Everton, Defoe will have extra competition for places.
Defoe has 12 goals in 25 appearances for Tottenham this season despite regularly starting on the bench and a continuation of this scoring ratio at Liverpool would substantially enhance their chances of finishing in the top four, which can be backed at 11/4 in the Premier League odds.