Liverpool kicked off their summer transfer campaign early by securing the services of Rickie Lambert for a fee £4 million from Southampton this week.
The Reds confirmed the deal on Monday, much to the delight of the England international, a Merseyside native who spent five years in the club’s ranks as a youth player.
Lambert’s signing immediately cast doubt over the future of new team-mate and fellow forward Fabio Borini, however, who just returned to Anfield from a loan spell at Sunderland.
The 23-year-old played a crucial role in helping the Black Cats beat the drop with seven league goals last term, adding three more in their run to the League Cup final.
Despite Borini’s solid season, his place at Liverpool going forward has looked less than secure amid speculation over whether he’ll be kept to back up Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in attack.
Reports have suggested that Sunderland are interested in taking on the Italian permanently, whilst several Serie A sides have been linked with a move for him.
And Lambert’s arrival seemed to signal that Borini, a known favourite of Brendan Rodgers and his first signing as Liverpool boss for £10.5 million, doesn’t figure into the club’s plans for 2014-15.
But agent Marco De Marchi has now insisted that this isn’t the case, and says his client’s wish is to carve out a future for himself with the Reds.
“Does the arrival of Lambert close the door on Fabio Borini?” De Marchi responded to Tutto Mercato Web. “I don’t think so, I haven’t received any word regarding it.
“Last season Fabio made a significant contribution to keeping Sunderland up. He was praised by everyone, especially by Liverpool boss Rodgers.
“He’ll go back to Liverpool after his holidays to prepare for the new season with this historic club.
“He wants to compete with everyone, and be a resource for the coach and the team. He could be of use to any side, but his desire is to show what he can do at Liverpool.”