Rafael Benitez could quit as Liverpool manager after becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of spending power at Anfield.
The Spaniard warned the club's new owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, he needed a £100m transfer kitty to overhaul his squad and turn them into Premier League title contenders.
And he set his sights on making two major signings over £10m immediately after losing to AC Milan in the Champions League final.
But the American tycoons are reported to be at loggerheads over the transfer budget.
The first signs of conflict came after Liverpool pulled out of the £17m race to sign Charlton and England striker Darren Bent.
Then the Reds made a £1m bid for West Ham winger Yossi Benayoun, which the Hammers described as an "insult".
Now a Reds source has told daily financial newspaper CityAM that Benitez has real concerns about the future ambitions of the club.
"If Gillett and Hicks cannot give Rafa a budget in which a sensible assault on the title, then Rafa will not hang around for long," he said.
"It simply doesn't look like Liverpool are competing in the transfer market and Rafa would definitely position than he is right now."