Liverpool are believed to be close to completing a deal for Blackpool winger Thomas Ince that would see the youngster return to the club just 18 months after departing due to a lack of first-team opportunities.

The 20-year-old has excelled since leaving Anfield, forcing his way into the England Under-21 squad and regularly earning rave reviews for his performances for Blackpool.

Thomas Ince
Thomas Ince would be the second new arrival at Liverpool after Daniel Sturridge joined from Chelsea [Reuters]

Ince has emerged as one of the most talked-about attackers in the Championship, along with Crystal Palace youngster Wilfired Zaha, and it seemed inevitable that there would be interest during the January transfer window.

A potential move to Liverpool appeared to have stalled only for the Daily Mail to claim that the Reds are now prepared to meet the demands of Blackpool and made an official offer of £6million.

Liverpool had already had an offer of £4.75milion rejected but it now seems that they are prepared to increase that bid in order to make Ince their second major signing in the current transfer window after the arrival of Daniel Sturridge.

However, it seems the winger will need assurances that he will be able to play regular first team football with his father, former Liverpool star Paul Ince, claiming that he is better off staying at Blackpool if he would only sit on the bench at a Premier League club.

"There is no point Thomas going to a Premiership club and not playing football," Ince told Sky Sports "That will just stunt his development. Where he goes he will have to be involved and have the chance to get game time.

"So if you say Liverpool, you say Man United or you say Barcelona, there's no point going to any of those clubs if he's not going to play football. He might as well stay at Blackpool and keep playing week-in and week-out."

While it is difficult to guarantee any player first-team football, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has shown that he is unafraid of putting younger players in the senior side this season with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all having plenty of opportunities to shine.