It could be a long second-half to the season for Norberto Neto if Liverpool decide to turn their attention elsewhere.
The Fiorentina goalkeeper has had his head turned by reports of interest from the Premier League and appears to have set his heart on a switch to Anfield.
The Brazilian has announced that he will not be discussing an extension to a contract which is due to expire at the end of the season.
He will drop into the free agent pool in the summer if no move is agreed, but the 25-year-old is hoping to be on the move in January.
Fiorentina have made it clear that he no longer figures in their plans, with coach Vincenzo Montella dropping the shot-stopper indefinitely, so the path has been cleared for Liverpool to step up their pursuit of a replacement for Simon Mignolet.
Montella said: “My evaluation was global. Neto wasn’t focused and that was inevitable in the circumstances. He remains a great goalkeeper, but at this moment I thought (Ciprian) Tatarusanu was more reliable.
“Is this a definitive decision? I think this is the route we are taking, yes. Making his refusal to sign a new contract official took away that calm and concentration from Neto. There are other players whose contracts are up for renewal and they are playing without problems.”
Neto has spent the last four years in Serie A and has been a regular part of Fiorentina’s plans.
He is a commanding keeper who takes control of his penalty area and boasts impressive reflexes and shot-stopping ability.
His lack of experience in English football would make him a gamble for Liverpool, but he is a confident performer and would back himself to settle quickly in England.