Kai Havertz looks set for a move to Chelsea after long being linked with a move to Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp is believed to be an admirer of the Bayer Leverkusen youngster.
But the stars have simply not aligned for the move with Havertz looking for a new challenge at a time when Liverpool are not in a position to splash the cash.
Instead, it is Chelsea who are tipped to win the race for Havertz and bring the playmaker to the Premier League after the Europa League concludes in a bid to close the gap on Liverpool.
There is no doubt a player with Havertz’ attributes could be an asset to any side – but Klopp might have already unearthed a perfect alternative close to home.
Whilst Havertz initially started his career in wider positions, he has made a more central role with creative freedom his own to establish himself as Bayer Leverkusen’s chief creator.
With Jordan Henderson injured, Klopp handed Curtis Jones his first Premier League start at Anfield against Burnley.
Having previously been deployed as a winger, Jones was given a central role with plenty of freedom in a midfield three, a transition similar to that made by Havertz in Germany.
He carved out some good chances, twice finding good shooting positions with late runs into the box and bursts from deep.
Speaking about Jones after the game, Klopp said: “For a player with creativity or technical skills of Curtis, it is a good game.
“He can use these skills and our style of play suits him so he can be quite impressive. A lot of steps to go but a good game.”
The local lad came off the bench against both Chelsea and Newcastle as he looks set for a bright future.
And whilst he is not at the same stage as Havertz in his development, he could bring Liverpool some of the same attacking qualities across a range of positions as he grows into a first team star.
After scoring his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa as a substitute in July, Jones said: “I think for any young lad that’s coming into the team like this, I think you’ve got to be confident, you’ve got to be brave and want to get on the ball. That’s what I try and do.”
He is certainly not afraid to get on the ball, something for which Havertz is known.
He also possesses plenty of flair, adding a new dimension to a midfield which has sometimes leaned too heavily on those around them to create goalscoring chances.
Jones’ potential was underlined by him being named Premier League 2 Player of the Year – and he is now aiming for big things as Liverpool hope he can emulate Havertz to become their own homegrown creative superstar.
Jones told Liverpool’s official website: “When I’ve played for the first team I’ve scored and played well and when I’ve played for the U23s my attitude has been good, so I’ve been lucky enough to get the Premier League 2 Player of the Year.
“It just goes to show that all the hard work, determination and good attitude pays off in the end. I’m just so grateful to the manager and his staff for giving me that opportunity and I look forward to many more.
“To play for Liverpool I think your platform has to be very high anyway, not just your own personal goals. A platform here is different to elsewhere in terms of the team you are trying to break into. Your goals have to be even higher.
“For a young kid like me, getting the chance in the first team to go and show what I can do, I think it’s upon me to repay them to get my successful bonus in terms of getting the game time, goals, opportunities and the medals. Every time I am called upon I will always be ready.”