Liverpool look to have admitted they were wrong to allow Thomas Ince to leave the club after it was reported that they were ready to make an offer for the Blackpool winger.
Ince was allowed to leave the club last summer after he became frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities and has since excelled in the Championship, where his performances caught the eye of England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce.
The 20-year-old helped Blackpool reach the play-off final last season but, despite scoring in the final against West Ham, he could not prevent the club from losing out on their chance to gain promotion to the top flight.
Having remained at Blackpool, Ince has further impressed this season by scoring nine league goals in just 14 appearances, earning comparisons with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the process.
Former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was full of praise for the winger who was repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester United in the early stages of the season.
However, according to the Mirror, Liverpool will attempt to compete with their fierce rivals Manchester United for the signature of the talented young winger.
Liverpool sent chief scout Frank McParland to watch Ince in action for the England Under-21 side against Northern Ireland on Tuesday as the club decide whether to make an offer in January.
The Mirror suggests that manager Brendan Rodgers believes he can convince Ince to return to Anfield and that a bid of around £5million may be enough to tempt Blackpool to sell.
Liverpool are actually entitled to 35 per cent of his sale price, having included the clause in his contract when he left the club, so they may even be able to land the attacking midfielder at a discounted fee.
Ince has never publicly stated his desire to leave Blackpool, but may well take advice from his fad, Paul, who played for both Manchester United and Liverpool in his distinguished playing career.