Liverpool are poised to step up their scouting of FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer, after Lucas Leiva revealed he fears facing up to six months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The Reds have been chasing versatile enforcer Fer with a view to a summer transfer.
But with Lucas sustaining damage to his knee during Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Carling Cup, Kenny Dalglish's hand looks like being forced much sooner than expected.
Fer only joined Twente during the summer, following three seasons with Feyenoord, in which he established himself as vice-captain and earned a call up to the Dutch national team.
Newcastle and Everton were previously following the 21-year-old, while Feyenoord also turned down an offer from Juventus before Fer sealed a £5million switch across the Eredivisie in August.
However, the midfielder hasn't fallen off the Premier League radar, with Liverpool making several checks on his development in the last few weeks, along with team-mates Ola John and Luuk de Jong.
It's thought a bid in the region of around £10 million would be enough secure his services, and with Fer being at home anywhere in the back four as well as defensive midfield, he would provide manager Dalglish with plenty of options.