Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made an appearance on radio station talkSPORT this morning, all but confirming that on-loan Lille striker Divock Origi would be staying with the French side until the end of the season.
Rodgers confirmed that there had been talks with the club regarding an agreement for the 19-year-old Belgian to return to Anfield this month, but the deal looks all but dead.
Brendan Rodgers on TalkSport: "There were a few discussions between the clubs, but the likelihood is that Origi will stay at Lille." #lfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) January 19, 2015
While Liverpool seem to be putting faith in their existing personnel, the truth may well be that it was Lille who stood in the way of Origi's return.
This month, Lille boss René Girard, has been actively looking for a replacement striker in order to sanction Origi’s move to England and L'Equipe reported that a deal for Benfica's Derley was close.
However, on Saturday evening, Swiss striker Michael Frey had to come off during the first half of their game against Lorient. Scenes of the forward crying on the bench made it clear that it was a bad injury.
Lille confirmed on Sunday that Frey would be out for around three to four months.
Losing Frey for the majority of the season will surely have all but stopped any prospect of Origi leaving, which will stop the chances of Lille signing Derley. The move for the Brazilian would reportedly have been funded by the agreement that Liverpool would pay Lille to take Origi early, a fee estimated by the Liverpool Echo at £3 million.
Without the extra Origi money, there will likely be no move for Derley, meaning Lille will need Origi to play a part in the attack.
LOSC will now hope that with Origi’s short-term future sorted, the Belgian can shake off any thoughts regarding Liverpool until the end of the season and help the club climb back up the Ligue 1 table.
Liverpool will have to wait until the summer for Origi and it could be the best decision for everyone involved, as Rodgers told talkSPORT, “Everything is set up for him to come to the Premier League. He just needs to finish the season at Lille and we’ll have him for next season.”