Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn will not follow teammate Marko Grujic in sealing a January loan to the Championship amid reports that struggling Sunderland's bid to sign the young Welsh international on a deal until the end of the season has ended in failure.
The Black Cats, currently bottom of the second tier and three points adrift of safety, remain in desperate need of reinforcements as they look to avoid back-to-back relegations and have so far only moved to secure the loan signing of highly-rated Chelsea centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter.
Additions in the final third remain an absolute priority after top scorer Lewis Grabban's early return to parent club Bournemouth and the sale of James Vaughan to Wigan Athletic left teenagers Josh Maja and Joel Asoro as their only recognised strikers, with Woodburn, who earned his first six senior international caps under current Sunderland boss Chris Coleman, known to be a priority target.
Previous reports suggested that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would sanction such a move for a promising young talent to help him add to his one solitary 45-minute Carabao Cup outing in 2017-18, though it appears that the German has performed something of a U-turn.
According to Sky Sports, Woodburn's proposed switch to Wearside was placed on hold after the £142m ($197m) sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona and now will now not happen at all unless Liverpool bring in more attacking recruits between now and the end of the window.
The Reds made an immediate splash at the beginning of the month by parting with a record fee of £75m to make Southampton's Virgil van Dijk the world's most-expensive defender, but attempts to bring forward Naby Keita's summer move from RB Leipzig by six months have not borne fruit.
Liverpool are believed to remain interested in versatile AS Monaco forward Thomas Lemar and have also been linked with Leicester City favourite Riyad Mahrez, Bordeaux's Malcom, former winger Suso, now at AC Milan, Norwich City's James Maddison, Roma goalkeeper Allison, Barcelona right-back Aleix Vidal and Stevenage defender Ben Wilmot.
They allowed Grujic to join Cardiff on Wednesday (17 January) after also agreeing new loan departures for Ryan Kent, Corey Whelan and Matty Virtue and offloading Cameron Brannagan to Oxford United. Klopp is also battling to keep Emre Can out of the clutches of Juventus and fielding plenty of interest in strikers Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings and potentially ousted custodian Simon Mignolet.
Stricken Sunderland, who host fellow strugglers Hull City on Saturday [20 January], now look to have moved onto other targets, meanwhile, with Sky also suggesting that they have approached Derby County over the prospect of a loan deal for Chris Martin, who was recently pushed further down Gary Rowett's pecking order at the iPro Stadium following the arrival of Cameron Jerome from Norwich.