Kenny Dalglish
Dalglish has lost out on his first potential 2012 signing. REUTERS

Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Argentinian wunderkind Lucas Ocampos, after River Plate revealed the player is not for sale in January.

Chelsea were reported to have had a £15m offer turned down by the Argentina club for the 17-year-old, while Liverpool have been heavily linked with the wing-sensation in recent weeks.

Ocampos, dubbed the 'Argentinian Cristiano Ronaldo' because of his penchant for step-overs, is one of South America's most promising strikers and has been on Liverpool's radar for some time.

Liverpool look set to step up their pursuit of a new forward after Luis Suarez was handed an eight-match ban, after the Uruguayan international was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

However, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been encouraged to look elsewhere after River Plate vice president Diegoe Turnes revealed the club will not sell Ocampos in the foreseeable future.

"We have had offers from Italy and England but the kid will not leave the club," he is quoted in talkSPORT.

River Plate are currently second in Argentina's second division after they were relegated for the first time in 102 years.