The Blackpool manager, Michael Appleton, has revealed that Liverpool's initial offer for Tom Ince is significantly short of his club's valuation for the England Under-21 winger.
Ince left Anfield in 2011 having made one senior appearance, with Blackpool making a compensation payment of £250,000.
The 20-year-old will command a far higher fee if he returns to Merseyside in January having scored 13 goals in 21 Championship games this season. With Luis Suarez Liverpool's only senior available forward, manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to add a striker next month. However, talks with Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge have stalled over wages and Blackpool have asked for Liverpool to raise their offer for Ince.
Appleton confirmed that a figure had been discussed between Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston and Liverpool but dismissed speculation that a deal is close to being finalised. "I think there's been a conversation between Karl and Liverpool regarding an offer but, as far as I'm aware, it's way below the type of money we would expect for someone of Tom's talent," he said.
Liverpool have at least secured the future of Raheem Sterling with the 18-year-old signing a five-year deal worth about £35,000 a week.
Rodgers said yesterday that Sterling would be expected to hit the same attainment levels as Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney. The manager said he always tells players in Sterling's position that "they need to decide after this contract whether there is going to be another contract at one of the biggest clubs in the world – or whether it will be at a different level".