Clint Dempsey seemed almost certain to be heading to Liverpool in this transfer window, but it is Aston Villa that have reportedly agreed a fee with Fulham.
With Charlie Adam and Jay Spearing looking increasingly likely to join Stoke and Bolton respectively, Liverpool could arguably still do with one more midfielder.
However, they have been unable to agree on a deal for Dempsey, with Fulham wanting a cash deal.
There is the belief that a swap involving Jordan Henderson had been agreed, but the England midfielder pulled the plug on the deal by refusing to join Fulham.
With Dempsey almost certain not to play for Fulham again, there is a potential bargain waiting for someone on deadline day and Paul Lambert has taken the chance.
The rumour from Villa was that they would not be buying from the Premier League in this window, but Dempsey’s maybe unexpected availability has changed Lambert’s plans.
However, the latest is that although a fee has been agreed between Fulham and Villa, Dempsey is not keen on the switch and would far prefer a move to Liverpool.
This opens a door for a new Liverpool bid and this looks like a transfer that will be concluded late in the day, with Villa offering Dempsey a second option if nothing concrete arrives from Anfield.
Much could also depend on Liverpool’s chase of Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge.